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Private hospitals to be regulated from Feb.04

Jan 29 (Island) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said on Saturday that he will commence regulating private hospitals in the country from Feb 4 come what may. Addressing a ceremony to mark the laying of a foundation stone for a nine-storeyed ward complex at a cost of Rs 3,400 million at the Beruwala Base Hospital, the Minister said that he intended to provide relief to the patients who receive treatment at private hospitals. more..

PRECIFAC report is the biggest issue: PM

Jan 29 (DM) The biggest issue at hand was the report of PRECIFAC, as it had recommended stripping former President Rajapaksa’s Civic Rights for life, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said at an election rally in Deniyaya. He said that those who suggested the SLFP and JO should unite, should consider the recommendations made by the PRECIFAC whether the two parties could get together in a situation, more..

Video: Fooling the people: Maithri–Ranil antagonism only for the election: Kiriella

Jan 29 (LT) President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will commence their usual love affair after 10th Febr despite pretending they are antagonists during the election campaign says the Minister Lakshman Kiriella. He said the ideological differences between the UNP and the SLFP exist only until the local govt election and after the election, all will get together and continue the govt programmes. more..

New regulations to streamline construction industry

Jan 29 (FT) Moves are underway by the Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDA) to introduce new regulations to standardise minimum salaries for construction labour force in a bid to attract new talent to address the domestic worker shortage. The Authority has already commenced a pilot project to create a database of workers, through which employers will be able to recruit in order to more..

MODE 4 not opened in FTA: Singapore rejects Sri Lanka request

Jan 29 (CT) Singaporean Govt has rejected a SL Govt request for the Movement of Natural Person (MODE 4) to be completely opened, Under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signed 23 Jan. Ministry of Manpower in Singapore, had rejected Sri Lanka's request, since they were not willing to open MODE 4 with any country which signed a FTA with them. This was revealed by internal sources of the Ministry of more..

Sri Lanka to change graft laws as President fast-tracks bond commission advice

Jan 29 (EN) Sri Lanka's is changing the country's bribery laws officials had said at a meeting called President Maithripala Sirisena to fast track recommendations of a commission that probed a massive securities scam involving the central bank. Attorney General, Director General of the Bribery Commission and Governor of the CB had been called to a meeting Monday where party leaders & representatives were also present, more..

How to groom intellectuals for the future?

Jan 29 (FT) Two intellectual discourses have recently taken place in Thailand and in SL, one month apart from each other, relating to the development of intellectuals in the respective countries for the 21st century. First was an address by Professor Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, President of the AIT, before the Royal Society of Thailand or RST in Dec 2017. The title of Worsak’s address was Grooming the Intellectuals to be Global Citizens in the 21st Century. more..

KKS Presidential Palace

Jan 29 (CT) President Sirisena has announced that the Presidential Palace built in a sprawling hundred- acre land in Kankesanthurai (KKS) at a cost of Rs 3.5 billon will be turned into a high-end tourist hotel to generate good revenue for the country. KKS Presidential Palace overlooking the Bay of Bengal was built by former President Rajapaksa in the Northern tip of the Jaffna Peninsula at a time when several thousand IDPs were agitating to resettle them in their original places. more..

මහා පරිමාණ වංචනිකයින් නිදැල්ලේ සිටියදී...

Cabinet sleeps on National Audit Bill despite more than 100 requests for action: President

Jan 29 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena said at a media briefing at the President’s House on Wednesday that Cabinet had not moved on enacting the National Audit Bill despite the fact that he had taken up the issue with the Cabinet on more than 100 occasions. Enacting the National Audit Bill was included in the ambitious 100 Days Programme which was a central element of his election manifesto. The President revealed this to Shamindra Ferdinando of The Island more..

Sri Lanka flirts with cost-push doctrine; blames coconuts for inflation

Jan 29 (EN) Sri Lanka has blamed coconuts and rice for overshooting an inflation target in 2017, flirting dangerously with cost-push doctrine despite claiming to be on track for a modified inflation targeting framework by 2020. In 2017, the central bank generated 7.1% inflation as measured by the Colombo Consumer Price Index with 12-month inflation peaking at 7.8% in October, overshooting its wide target of 4-6%. A country-wide National Consumer Price Index measured more..

Taxiyak: The new taxi company on the block

Jan 29 (Roar) Colombo’s taxi market is crowded. We’re up to our gills in traditional dial-em-up cabs, ride-sharing apps, taxi-hailing apps, and tuk-tuks you just grab off the street. You’d think that all these competing services would push each other out of the market, but the fact that they survive shows just how much of a demand there is for transport in a city that’s hyper-congested and notoriously difficult to park in. more..

Lalith Weerathunga’s travel request rejected

Jan 29 (NR) The Colombo High Court has rejected a request by the Former Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunga requesting permission to travel overseas. The order was issued by High Court Judge Gihan Kulathunga. The former Chairman of the TRC Commission and former Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunga and former Director General of the TRC Anusha Palpita who were sentenced to 3 years rigorous imprisonment over the case pertaining to the distribution of more..

Doctor, conductor among treasure hunters

Jan 29 (Island) Eight persons, engaged in digging for treasure inside a house in Bombure in Hunnasgiriya arrested by Udadumbara police on Saturday night. One suspect escaped under the cover of darkness. The police found a pit about six feet deep with a circumference of four feet inside a room of the house. Police, on questioning, the suspects uncovered that the leader of the group of treasure hunters was a retired resident officer of the Mahaweli Development Authority. more..

We’ll create a system where anyone can travel first class: Tilvin

Jan 29 (LT) “When we travel to other countries the flight depends on the invitation. We travel by any class the donor selects. It is not an issue for us. Those who kept mum when Mahinda Rajapaksa travelled with an entourage of 300 to 400 people when he travelled abroad or those who had tight lips when special flights were arranged to bring down dogs to this country are the ones who talk about a photograph of Comrade Anura more..

Abolishing MR’s civic rights not mentioned in PRECIFAC report: PHU

Jan 29 (DM) The PRECIFAC had not recommended abolishing the civic rights of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as claimed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, PHU leader and MP Udaya Gammanpila said today. Addressing a news conference, he challenged the Premier to point out whether it was mentioned in the PRECIFAC report that the civic rights of the former President should be stripped in connection with the allegations articulated in the report. more..

Navy foils smuggling attempt, 2 suspects nabbed with 12 kg of gold

Jan 29 (SLN) Based on information received by the Navy, a group of naval personnel attached to the North Central Naval Command, under the directives of its Area Commander, Rear Admiral Meril Wickramasinghe, nabbed 2 Sri Lankan nationals who were attempting to smuggle 12 kg of gold to India via sea. The apprehension was made in the sea area of Urumalei yesterday. The consignment of gold that is worth over Rs 70 million was in the form of 120 biscuits each weighing 100g. more..

Sri Lanka still using draconian anti-terror laws: HRW

Jan 29 (AFP) SL's govt is still using draconian anti-terror laws that give police sweeping powers to arrest and detain suspects despite promising to abolish them, Human Rights Watch said. Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) allows the detention of suspects for long periods without trial and was widely used during decades-long civil war that ended in 2009. Govt of Prez Sirisena promised to abolish the act after it was elected more..

Health Ministry claims drastic drop in dengue

Jan 29 (Island) Around 4,900 dengue patients had been reported from Jan 1 to 27. However, it was a drastic decrease compared to the corresponding period last year, community physician at National Dengue Eradication Unit, Dr. Prasheela Samaraweera said. "In Jan 2017, we received 10,927 cases. Ministry has carried out a number of initiatives to combat the disease and the people are now much more aware. The met department has said the rains might start from today so more..

Colombo port volumes up 8.3% in 2017

Jan 29 (EN) Colombo Port has ended 207 handling 6.2 million containers up 8.3% in 2017, with the state-run ports agency's older terminal also showing growth. SLPA said its Jaye Container Terminal which has seen shrinking volumes last year had seen growth of 5.3% in October, 8.2% in November and 13.9% in December. Chinese owned Colombo International Container Terminal, which can accommodate ultra large container carriers driving volumes after South Asia Gateway Terminals more..

GMOA to launch strike tomorrow

Jan 29 (AM) The Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has announced a one day token strike from 8 am tomorrow on a number of demands. Their demands include a speedy solution on the SAITM issue, resolving Salary issues, giving a transport Traveling/Telecom allowance, Vehicle permits and introducing new laws to regulate private medical services. The GMOA previously claimed that they would go for a trade union action if more..

SB flays Rishard, TNA for playing racial card

Jan 29 (Island) Minister S.B. Dissanayake called on the general public not to vote for any party or candidate promoting communal disharmony. Addressing a SLFP election rally in Samanthurai last week, the Minister said: There are some parties and candidates who try to win by using the racial card. We all have experienced the results of such politics by politicians after independence. Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim all suffered because of falling for the politicians who secured power by more..

Special party leaders meeting to be held tomorrow

Jan 29 (AD) Speakers’ Office announced today, that a special party leaders meeting will be called on Tuesday, to decide upon a date on which Parliament will be convened to debate on the Bond scandal. The communiqué issued by the Speakers’ office read that the Speaker will address growing concerns of many politicians who have requested that Parliament be convened prior to the LG election. It was also stated that the decision of the Speaker will be made during more..

SLPP challenges Govt to strip MR of his civic rights

Jan 29 (DM) The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) today challenged the govt to strip former president Mahinda Rajapaksa of his civic rights if possible. SLPP chairman G.L. Peiris said former president J.R. Jayawardane had stripped the civic rights of former prime minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike fearing an election defeat. “Mr. Jaywwardene knew there was a person who was more popular than him in politics. more..

'Country’s future foremost on UNP’s agenda'

Jan 29 (Island) UNP talked of the future of the country while the SLFP discussed politics; that was the difference between the two main parties, UNP assistant leader Ravi Karunanayake said on Saturday. Addressing a UNP meeting at Farm Road in Mattakkuliya in support of party candidates contesting the Feb 10 LG elections, the former Finance Minister said those who claimed was no economic development had not studied the budgets presented by the present govt. more..

KKS Presidential Palace to be high-end hotel

Jan 29 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena revealed that the vacant Presidential Palace built in Kankesanthurai (KKS) in the Northern Province on a hundred acre land costing Rs 3.5 billion will be turned into a high end tourist hotel to generate profit for Sri Lanka. Construction on the presidential palace commenced in 2012 and was completed with 20 specially designed rooms and luxury suites with expensive chandeliers, two swimming pools, and rest rooms with residential facilities more..

Korea assists in opening first Faculty of Nursing at Colombo University

Jan 29 (Island) For the first time in the history of Sri Lanka, a faculty of nursing was opened at the University of Colombo, with assistance from the govt of Korea and the Inje University of Korea, recently. The opening ceremony was attended by the Korean delegation from the Ministry of Education and Inje University. About 350 Sri Lankans including Minister Rajitha Senaratne, Lakshman Dissanayake, Vice-Chancellor of Uni of Colombo, more..

'Literary works in all three languages foster greater understanding & reconciliation'

Jan 29 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Friday said literary works in Sinhala, Tamil and English fostered greater understanding and reconciliation between Sri Lankans. Addressing the 2017 Fairway National Literary Award in Galle at the Fairway Literary Festival, the Minister said this was the only National Literary Awards competition which accommodated all three of the main languages used in Sri Lanka. “The Fairway National Literary Awards in all three national languages, more..

'Debate on Bond Report won’t affect election'

Jan 29 (NR) Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera says the debate on the Bond Commission Report is not being held on the 8th of February to influence the Local Govt Election. Speaking at a media briefing held in Bandaragama, Deputy Minister Perera said the decision was taken after considering several requests to hold the debate before the election. He said MPs of all parties are engaged in Election propaganda activities, however adding that there’s no possibility to hold a debate while more..

Hate speech precedes violence: CaFFE

Jan 29 (DN) Highlighting that hate speech is only a prelude to physical attacks/violence, CaFFE urged the authorities to take immediate action to end the systematic hate speech campaign against female Muslim candidates of the forthcoming local govt elections. The organisation has consulted with the Commission of Elections and will take action against certain Muslim clerics who have been carrying out the systematic campaign. more..

Privatisation and re-nationalisation

Jan 30 (Island) The purpose of private enterprise is to make profits; shareholders and managers are not asses who invest time and money to waste the former and lose the latter. Capitalism is not charity; rich people who wish to do good find a cause, to donate to, and/or work voluntarily with. Businesses are happy to do their bit such as sponsor scholarships, donate to good causes and feel virtuous about contributing to national development, but this makes sense only if the company is more..

Politics sans morals: Police gets it right

Jan 30 (CT) People in this country appointed Maithripala Sirisena as the President in Jan 2015, with the backing of several political parties and civic groups, to abolish the executive presidency, hold Parliamentary elections and to execute various political reforms and to appoint commissions to oversee the Judiciary, Police, Elections Dept, Auditor General's Dept and the Attorney-General's Dept; and primarily to strengthen the Commission on Bribery and Corruption with an undertaking more..

In comparison to past elections : LG polls, less complicated under mixed system

Jan 30 (SO) With the run up to the LG elections nearing completion and only about two weeks to the polls, Sunday Observer takes a look into the preparation of the officials and candidates to face the election as well as the readiness of the general public to vote. Amid major changes being introduced to the system, many are still perplexed as to how the system works and what the voters are expected to do, to vote on Election Day. more..

Seven decades of post independent economic under development

Jan 30 (ST) We complete seventy years of independence next week and enter the 71st year after regaining independence. Country has progressed, but not as much as her potential. Other countries in Asia that were at a much lesser economic level have progressed by leaps & bounds. Despite better economic and social infrastructure and an efficient bureaucracy and system of justice and a thriving plantation economy, we failed to achieve rapid economic development. more..

All this and tall stories too

Jan 30 (ST) This is the month that was. The new year almost always begins with a bang. Actually many, many bangs as bursting firecrackers greet the dawn of another year. This year however was special. Above the din of the celebratory explosions was heard the cacophony of political debate as parties in contestation at next month’s local elections assiduously searched for chinks in the political armour of their opponents and even those they call friends. more..

'We did not join the govt to protect the UNP'

Jan 30 (CT) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says that Bonds scam perpetrators will be punished, and said "We believe that the loss incurred due to the Bonds fraud should be recovered. There is no question about that. We will intervene completely on behalf of that. However, it will not end there. Those connected to this fraud will be punished. Just because they pay back the money, it will not be enough. We have to recover the money and more..

Ranil’s treacherous behaviour

Jan 30 (CT) I used to have very good relations with the Japanese Embassy in the period between 2007 and 2014. This began with my appreciation of their support for SL during the war period, as explained in the first of the articles about my time at the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process, the series that appears in this newspaper on Saturdays. The connection faded away in the last few years, given that I no longer held any official position connected with Japanese involvements in SL. more..

Editorial: Any port in a storm

Jan 30 (Island) What the govt feared most and strove to avoid is now about to come to pass. It shamelessly postponed LG elections. It knew its fragile unity would be threatened if the SLFP and the UNP happened to square off in a fiercely fought electoral contest with President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe personally leading the SLFP and UNP campaigns respectively. LG polls have assumed the importance of a national election, given the high stakes the main parties have therein. more..

Face the Nation

President’s threatening speeches have multiple objectives

Jan 30 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent criticisms of his partner in the govt coalition, UNP, have sent signals that the UNP-SLFP alliance may be ending sooner rather than later. At the general elections of August 2015, the two parties entered into an agreement to be in partnership for a period of two years. Those two years have ended and it appears that their partnership may be ending too. Among the criticisms that the president has made are those about governmental involvement in more..