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Video: Country facing huge crisis: JO

Feb 22 (DM) The country was facing a huge crisis with the amendments made to the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Act on several grounds, including the implementation of the 25 percent quota for women, Joint Opposition said. JO member MP Gamini Lokuge told a news conference that the country was now heading towards a confusion following the delay of releasing the results of the LG elections, proving the inability of the Govt to function as a responsible body. more..

'Govt bound to implement UNHRC resolution'

Feb 22 (DM) Opposition Leader and TNA MP R. Sampanthan today said that the govt was bound to implement the UNHRC resolution both in spirit and letter and called on the international community to ensure it was fully implemented. Highlighting the delays that have occurred in implementing the resolution he said that the International community must take necessary steps to ensure that the govt is held accountable for more..

In world report Sri Lanka listed among countries unsafe for Muslims

Feb 22 (SL) Sri Lanka has been listed among countries unsafe for Muslims in a newly released world report. In the report, Amnesty International notes that Sri Lanka saw a rise in Buddhist nationalist sentiment last year, including attacks against Christians and Muslims. In September, a group of hardline Buddhist monks attacked the homes of Rohingya refugees in Boosa, southern SL. In November, dozens of home and businesses of Muslims were attacked near Galle. more..

Sri Lankan worker receives end-of-service award — 22 years after he left Saudi Arabia

Feb 22 (AN) A domestic aide who left Saudi Arabia 22 years ago will soon receive his end-of-service awards in Colombo. His Saudi sponsor, who died six years ago, requested his next of kin to pay the benefits to the man if he could be found after his return to SL. Based on an Arab News report — Dead sponsor sends end-of-service benefits to domestic aide who left KSA 22 years ago — published on Feb. 16 and which recorded more than 40,000 hits online, beneficiary was found more..

More tax concessions to State officials

Feb 22 (DM) Ministry of Public Administration and Management has in a circular increased tax concessions for State officials, Provincial officials and Courts officials when importing vehicles. Earlier, these officials were allowed to import vehicles under three categories. Under the first category, they were allowed to import a vehicle valued at a maximum of US$45,000. Under the second and the third categories, more..

Tabs after considering other priorities: Akila

Feb 22 (DM) Education Minster Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said today steps would be taken to provide Tabs to A/L students as planned after fulfilling other priorities in the education sector as stated by the President. He told parliament that it was put on hold by the President after considering several factors such as using these funds for essential projects in the education sector. Minister said this in response to a question asked by JO MP Dullas Allahapperuma that more..

Mother tongue key symbol of our individual identity: CBK

Feb 22 (DN) The 2018 International Mother Language Day celebrations jointly organised by the Bangladesh High Commission, Ministry of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages, National Unity and Reconciliation, Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Sri Lanka Scout Association and university of Visual and Performing Arts was held at the Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo yesterday. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga who was the Chief Guest more..

Govt to deposit cash to farmers’ bank accounts for fertiliser

Feb 22 (AD) Govt has decided to deposit cash for full market value of fertiliser to the bank accounts of farmers, starting from the next cultivation season, Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake said. He stated that in addition to banking cash for fertiliser to cultivate paddy, corn, soya and onion, each farmer will receive a free agri insurance cover of Rs 40,000 per acre. The decisions were taken during a discussion more..

Multilingualism for advaced communication

Feb 23 (DN) Sri Lanka has been a multilingual society from the very beginning of its history. There were, at least, ten languages in use from time to time. For that matter, the Sinhala language itself is the product of multilingualism. It came into being six centuries before the dawn of the Common Era, in our Island kingdom, by the amalgam of, at least, six different languages. What were these languages? 1. Vanga: The language used by Prince Vijaya and his 700 followers who came from Vanga. more..

In the end, there was nothing

Feb 23 (CT) Much more than a storm in a tea cup! To a non-discerning person it all seemed like the final battle of the counter revolution. President Maithipala Sirisena, was up in smoke trying to oust PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for no articulated reason. He asked good old Karu but Karu said, Nope! He asked Sajith but Sajith said, ”Nope!”The JO boys thought they at last, were seeing a political Nirvana as the cases against them are sure to fall. Govt must resign! they cried. more..

The vanishing gypsy clan

Feb 23 (SO) To many of us one of the familiar sights around Colombo city were the Sasthara women walking about with the proud proclamation of being able to tell your future by reading your palm. The women often aged between twenty and forty years were clad in printed sarees with their lips stained red by chewing beetle and wearing a mookuthi (nose ring). At times they were accompanied by males who displayed their more..

Epilogue to the days of tension

Feb 23 (DN) Almost two weeks after elections to 340 local govt bodies were concluded, the major political parties remain locked in a tussle for supremacy, leaving the govt in a state of flux with no clear winner emerging at the time of writing. There was a clear winner though at the elections and that was the SLPP. The newly formed party served as a vehicle for the dissident faction of the SLFP led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, enabling him to test his popularity. more..

Bizarre politics continue: Cascading down towards disaster

Feb 23 (CT) Talks about the continuing of the National Govt, and Cabinet reshuffles in the offing has caused much perplexity and a confusion about the direction of the Govt. During the heat of the election campaign President was clearly heard ascertaining that he would not continue to govern with corrupt elements. Several other spokesmen on behalf of the SLFP and UPFA announced qualifying it further that they plan to form a govt of their own which was clearly understood as parting of more..

'Masses are more politically literate than politicians'

Feb 23 (CT) Senior Lecturer of the Department of Communication at the University of Kelaniya, Wijayananda Rupasinghe says the people are highly literate in politics, "That is why the people change governments. People do not give in to their feelings only. They act with intelligence. That is why the rulers who said they could not be defeated were sent home. It is the political leaders who are not politically literate." more..

One Year in Kilinochchi

Feb 23 (GV) On Feb 20th, the protest by families of the disappeared in Kilinochchi passed the one year mark. Mothers, wives and fathers have sat by the side of the A9 road, inside the premises of the Kandasamy kovil, asking for answers about their loved ones. This is one of many protests by relatives of the disappeared; others are taking place in Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Maruthankerny and Trincomalee. Over the course of this year, these families have had three meetings with Prez, more..

What to expect at upcoming UNHRC session

Feb 23 (Island) UNHRC’s first sessions for the year, also known as the High Level Segment on account of the participation of high level delegates such as Ministers and even heads of states, is due to commence in a few days, on the 26th of February and will continue until the 23rd of March. It is the 37th regular session of the UNHRC. It is at this session that the HC for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein will present an interim report on the implementation of Resolution 30/1, more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Maithri drifting towards Mahinda Ranil, Rajitha, Sajith trinity to strengthen Govt

Feb 23 (CT) After Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists, under a new title, SLPP, winning the highest number of seats in the majority of LG bodies, people with various affiliations are heard making various comments analyzing the results of LG elections. According to the winning SLPP, President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe do not have moral right to continue with their administration and therefore they must dissolve Parliament allowing the people to elect a new Govt. more..

AI powered Dialog voice agent now on Google Assistant

Feb 23 (Island) In line with its continuous efforts to advance technology and consistently provide users with a world-class customer service experience, Dialog Axiata, launched an app for Google Assistant. The app will assist users with tasks such as checking bill balance, credit limit, requesting e-bills and be made available across Assistant enabled devices, including phones, speakers, TVs and more. This service is currently available to Dialog mobile users and more..

Kola Kenda: That green gruel everyone sort of loves

Feb 23 (Roar) Healthy and packed with different nutrients, kola kenda—the herbal gruel made of rice, coconut milk and a variety of green leaves—is a recipe which is timeless. It is still a popular breakfast option among many Sri Lankan homes, because it is nutritious and can be prepared quite easily—that’s why many people still prefer to kola kenda at home. Because the green leaves used in making kola kenda are crushed into more..

Editorial: Bud bungling begins

Feb 23 (Island) The SLPP, which scored a stunning victory at the recent LG polls has started bungling from the word go. President Maithripala Sirisena has proved, once again, that he is made of sterner stuff. Everybody expected him to tuck up his sarong and run all the way to Polonnaruwa when the LG polls results were announced (not by the Polls Chief and his panjandrums but by Mark Zuckerberg via much-maligned Facebook.) A wag says that if Zuckerberg, too, had got as drunk as a skunk, more..

Nobody’s baby

Feb 23 (Island) Kusuma (not real name) is a mother of two. She is a drug addict. So is her husband. The public toilet at the Pettah bus terminal is the meeting point for people like them. They meet there at 7 am, go about their business and return around 4 pm. This is their routine, except on Friday, when they go begging near a mosque. She and her husband use their children for begging to fund their habit. National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), Chairperson, Marini De Livera says more..

'Dananjaya reminds me of young Murali'

Feb 23 (DN) There is a popular song hit by the name Everything I Touch Turns To Gold by English pop group Saint Etienne that can be attributed to SL’s new head coach Chandika Hathurusingha who on his first assignment has changed the fortunes of the national team across all three formats – Tests, ODIs and T20Is. Not so long ago this very same team was struggling to compete with other nations at international level and more..

Asela Gunaratne ruled out of T20 tri-series

Feb 23 (CI) Asela Gunaratne's injury woes continue, having now been ruled out of next month's T20 tri-series - the Nidahas Trophy - with an injury to his right arm. An SLC release said he sustained a grade II rotator cuff strain with contusion while taking part in a fielding drill on their recent tour of Bangladesh. Although Sri Lanka won each of the three trophies that had been up for grabs, the 32-year old did not have the best time personally: he made only 35 ODI runs in four innings. more..

Sri Lanka Wonder of Asia Ironman 70.3 Colombo Triathlon

Feb 23 (DN) A total of 870 participants from 64 countries will take part in the Ironman Triathlon Colombo and the event will attract over 3000 local and out-of-town visitors to Colombo. Organisers target to generate a revenue of over US$3 million in direct economic impact to the country during the period of the triathlon. Average age of Ironman participants is 39 years old with the oldest participant being 81 years and the youngest 19. Percentage of male participants is 77% more..

Election for Sri Lanka’s highest post in sport will be held today

Feb 23 (DN) The much debated National Olympic Committee (NOCSL) election will be held today at the NOCSL headquarters, commencing 6pm to appoint office bearers who will govern the apex sports body for a four-year term. The two main parties headed by presidential candidates Rohan Anthony Fernando and Suresh Subramaniam seek a majority vote to appoint 12 top officials in the NOCSL. more..

Ceylinco Life posts net profit of Rs. 6 bn

Feb 23 (Island) Ceylinco Life has posted net profit of Rs 6 billion for the year ending 31st Dec 2017 while reaffirming its market leadership in life insurance industry for the 14th successive year, with premium income of Rs 15.7 billion. Company posted profit before tax of Rs 6.3 billion reflecting a remarkable 70% growth. Net profit growth was even higher, at 95%. Ceylinco Life sold 126,838 new life policies in the year reviewed at an average of 10,570 per month and paid out Rs 6.7 b in net claims more..

I am exhausted: EC

Feb 23 (DM) Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said he was extremely tired with all the work he had to do with the LG elections and would prefer to handover his duties to someone else even for a month. While referring to the continuous procedure of elections, Mr. Deshapriya said that he had felt that the time had arrived to get rid of these things. “It is better if I can get a vacation from these proceedings at least for one month by handing over this position for someone else. more..

Complaints from Sri Lankan maids drop sharply in recent years

Feb 23 (GN) The number of complaints from Sri Lankan housemaids in Abu Dhabi has dropped considerably in recent years thanks to employers being more sensitised towards their rights, a top Sri Lankan diplomat told Gulf News. “Two years back, there was a time, we had around 30 housemaids in the embassy’s shelter, who had run away from their employers [due to mistreatment]. more..

JAT Holdings to finance and develop world-class tennis stadium

Feb 23 (Island) Further reiterating its commitment to uplifting sports in Sri Lanka, diversified conglomerate JAT Holdings, recently commenced a joint-initiative with the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA). The foundation stone for the state-of-the-art JAT Stadium at the SLTA was laid at the SLTA premises by Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, during their official visit to SL. Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara, Managing Director of JAT Holdings Aelian Gunawardene and more..

Soft loan package for middle income families

Feb 23 (DM) The govt is introducing a soft loan package titled, Middle Income Housing Loan Scheme (MIHLS) with a maximum loan facility of Rs.5 million at a 7% interest rate payable in 25 years as a solution to the housing problems faced by middle income families among public servants and private sector employees. The NIHLS was a 2018 budget proposal and Cabinet approval was granted to the scheme on Tuesday, Cabinet spokesman and Minister, Gayantha Karunatilaka said. more..

Mixed ending to 2017 external trade

Feb 23 (FT) External performance in December brought a mixed ending to 2017 with exports surpassing $1 billion for the fifth time buoyed by apparel which topped $5 billion and aggressive growth of 42% in seafood, but a year-end run on imports pushed the trade deficit to over $1 billion for the first time since 2012. External sector performance continued to improve in Dec 2017, mainly with higher inflows to more..

2018 Annual Sessions Ceremony of Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) held

Feb 23 (PMD) The Inaugural Opening of the 2018 Annual Sessions Ceremony of Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) held at BMICH with the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena, today (21). The exhibition organized by SLIA for the 36th time is being held concurrently to the main event as A-18 Architecture 2018 till 25th of Feb at the BMICH. More than 290 exhibition stalls and 126 of digital screens to display architecture designs will showcase latest developments in the field. more..

FR petition to prevent arrest on H’tota hotel project fixed for 7 June

Feb 23 (FT) Supreme Court re-fixed for 7 June to be mentioned the fundamental rights petitions filed by former President’s Chief of Staff Gamini Sedara Senarath, and two others, former SL Insurance Corporation Managing Director Piyadasa Kudabalage and former Commissioner of Samurdhi Neil Hapuwinna. Bench comprised Justices B.P. Aluvihara, K.T.G. Chitrasiri and L.T.B. Dehideniya. Petitioners had sought an order from the SC to prevent the FCID from arresting them more..

INTERPOL has issued red warrant on Udayanga: Police

Feb 23 (DM) INTERPOL had issued a Red Warrant on former SL Envoy to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, naming him as a fugitive wanted by the SL authorities. Ex-diplomat Weeratunga was wanted in connection with certain discrepancies that had taken place in the acquisition of four MiG-27 fighter jets from the Ukrainian arms company Ukrinmash in 2006 and financial misappropriation said to be taken place more..

Govt ready to revise minimum educational requirement for medical education

Feb 23 (Island) The govt is likely to rescind its decision to make simple passes for Biology, Chemistry and Physics at the GCE A/L the minimum educational requirement for entry into medical education, Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella yesterday (21) said in Parliament. Kiriella said so when JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa said it was unfair to consider 3S passes as the minimum requirement for medical education, Kiriella said he saw the logic in Jayatissa’s argument. more..

Sri Lankan HC resigns

Feb 23 (Island) SL’s High Commissioner to the UK, Amari Wijewardene, has resigned from her post, well informed govt sources. President Sirisena had accepted her resignation, sources added. Speculation is rife in diplomatic circles that Wijewardene’s resignation is linked to the recall of military attache Brig. Priyanka Fernando under pressure from some British PMs following an incident where he made a throats slitting gesture to a group British LTTE sympathisers more..

GMOA welcomes SAITM solution

Feb 23 (Island) The GMOA, welcoming President Sirisena’s decision to absorb students from the Medical School of SAITM into the Kotalawela Defence University’s Medical Faculty said that, however, the issue was far from over. GMOA Secretary, Dr Haritha Aluthge said that govt had to issue a gazette abolishing SAITM medical school once and for all. Dr Aluthge said that rather than handing over infrastructure of SAITM more..

Sri Lanka’s 4G speed among best in region; still below global average

Feb 23 (CT) Sri Lanka is ranked among the top countries in terms of speed of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) on mobile networks in Southeast Asia, retaining its position as the number one in South Asia; however, Sri Lanka is ranked the third-worst country in the world in terms of availability of 4G LTE connectivity, according to the latest report by UK-based wireless coverage mapping specialist OpenSignal. However, Sri Lanka continues to remain in the bottom 20 countries of the list more..

National Economic Council tackles food prices, fertiliser and infrastructure issues

Feb 23 (FT) The National Economic Council (NEC), which met under the chairmanship of President Maithripala Sirisena this week, deliberated over multiple issues concerning the cost of living, fertilisers and infrastructure development and agreed to swiftly resolve these problems. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and NEC Secretary-General and Chief Economist Prof. Lalith Samarakoon were present at the meeting. more..