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Japan extends Rs. 15.6 b for health and medical service improvement project

Mar 15 (FT) On the occasion of the President’s visit to Japan, an Exchange of Notes for the Health and Medical Service Improvement Project amounting up to Japanese Yen 10,639 million (Rs. 15,619 m) was signed on 14 March in Tokyo. It was signed between Ambassador of Japan Kenichi Suganuma on behalf of the Govt of Japan and Ambassador of SL Prof. Dhamika Ganganath Dissanayake on behalf of the Govt of Sri Lanka in the presence of PM of Japan Shinzo Abe and Prez Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Did Prez and Gnanasara meet in Japan?

Mar 15 (CT) Social Media sites are replete with reports that the controversial Monk Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thera was at an event in Japan, where President Maithripala Sirisena was the Chief Guest. Some of the tweets and posts claimed that the Thera, who is the General Secretary of the BBS, met the President at the event. President Sirisena is on a State visit to Japan and has met Emperor Akihito and PM Shinzo Abe in the past two days. It is not clear whether the two actually met, but more..

Govt will not ban social media: PM

Mar 15 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said that as the person who introduced Internet to Sri Lanka, neither he nor his Government has any intention to ban social media, but would, instead, introduce a proper mechanism to monitor hate speech, lies and racism, taking precedents from countries like Germany, England and Scotland in the coming weeks. Wickremesinghe, participating in more..

Consumer Rights: Only rites, how much we are going wrong

Mar 15 (DM) All people are consumers in different degrees and therefore World Consumer Rights Day today is important for us to become more aware of our rights and responsibilities in bringing about a just and fair society. Unfortunately, one of the biggest areas of exploitation is the private health sector where sick people are often plundered by way of highly expensive drug prices, the prescription of non-essential drugs or tests and other means through which the medical sector which was more..

When the dots are connected you get a dead cat

Mar 15 (DM) The term is attributed to Lynton Crosby, a political strategist who has managed campaigns of right-of-centre parties in several countries. Boris Johnson, who employed Crosby during London mayoral elections explains the term thus: “There is one thing that is absolutely certain about throwing a dead cat on the dining room table – and I don’t mean that people will be outraged, alarmed, disgusted. That is true, but irrelevant. The key point, says my Australian friend, more..

'Intelligence services a must for national security'

Mar 15 (DM) Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara, speaks about the Kandy incidents and the restrictions on social media and the challenges that lie ahead. Q : You took up the new post as the Law and Order Minister at a challenging time. How do you view it first? A:I am used to challenges from my childhood. I have taken up challenges right from my school days. I am pleased that both Prez Maithripala Sirisena more..

Important gestures by monks bring spirit of healing to Friday prayers

Mar 15 (ST) Security throughout the country was stepped up in the wake of the violence around Kandy, but it was assurances from the clergy as well as from the public in most areas that boosted public confidence as Muslims flocked to mosques for Friday worship. More efforts at reconciliation are expected this coming week. In several areas on Friday, scenes of Buddhist monks and other clergy coming out to ensure safety were witnessed. more..

Delimitation report in for sabotage?

Mar 15 (Island) Several MPs have objected to the division of provincial councilors elected under the first-past-the-post system and the proportional representation system in the new Provincial Council Election (Amendment) Act that would be debated when the delimitation report was taken up in parliament, Minister Faiszer Musthapha said. He said the committee that prepared the delimitation report had acted independently and more..

'SL thankful for China’s long term support'

Mar 15 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday thanked China for its long-term support to Sri Lanka's economic and social development and hoped that China's assistance and aid would benefit more at the grass root level. PM expressed these views following a working consultation with Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan at Temple Trees. “Sri Lanka attaches great importance to mega-projects cooperation more..

Govt exploited Kandy violence to block social media: Civil society activist

Mar 15 (Island) Civil society activist Chamara Nakandala alleged that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt had used recent ethnic violence at Ampara and some parts of the Kandy district to clamp down on social media as the administration couldn’t stomach criticism, especially after Feb. 10 LG polls debacle. Nakandala said that about 30 groups, including UPFA a Bright Future, Madyawediya, Lankacnews, Info Sri Lanka, more..

Infertility pill: No documented instances of its use, worldwide

Mar 15 (DM) While rejecting the myths regarding the so called infertility pill, a group of medical professionals today said there were no easily available drugs in western medical practice, which can significantly affect fertility, if they were administered once or for a short period, to an individual. Consultant Physician Dr. Upul Dissanayake said there had been no documented instances of the use of such drugs more..

Private Co. grabs Muturajawela land for housing scheme

Mar 15 (DM) Environmentalists are perturbed about a private company alienating 406 acres from the Muthurajawela sanctuary to construct a housing scheme. Environmentalist Sajeewa Chamikara of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reforms said the Agrarian Services Department had permitted the private company to construct a housing complex on the recommendation of a senior official of more..

Pact between India, Sri Lanka for co-operation in IT, electronics

Mar 15 (PTI) The Cabinet was today informed about a MoU signed between India and Sri Lanka for promoting co-operation in IT and Electronics field. The pact was signed on Jan 15, 2018 during the visit of Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad to Sri Lanka. Cabinet meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi has been "apprised of a MoU between India and SL for promoting co-operation in the field of IT & Electronics". more..

Arrest warrant issued for Arjuna Mahendran

Mar 15 (AD) The Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court today issued an arrest warrant on former Governor of the CB, Arjuna Mahendran. Meanwhile the owner of Perpetual Treasuries Arjun Aloysius and CEO Kasun Palisena were ordered to be further remanded until march 29 by the court. When the case was taken up today, Magistrate also ordered telecom service providers in SL to provide the CID with call detail records more..

Facebook ban lifted in Sri Lanka

Mar 15 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) to lift the temporary restrictions imposed on social media website Facebook, with immediate effect. He stated that the decision was taken after representatives of social media giant had agreed to prevent Facebook from being used to spread spreading hate speech and incite violence, more..

Change archaic laws

Mar 15 (CT) Despite many a claim regarding the country's judiciary and legal system's foolproof and extensive nature is spouted by every lawmaker and commoner, one thing is a known fact; we are still dependent on more than one archaic law that has been overruled, replaced, twice or even more so, in the rest of the world while we still pine over them. SL's fusion of Dutch-British legal system is severely outdated, and that's not even talking about the inactivity of the legal system more..

Making digital market places fairer

Mar 15 (FT) World Consumer Day is when consumers show their strength to the world in organising the membership worldwide, initiated by Consumer International. Sri Lanka takes part in a low profile as the consumer is not as well organised as in other parts of the world due to the lack of leadership and inefficiency of the main consumer regulator which is expected to organise and catalyse the celebrations. The strength of the consumer who is also the citizen is education, activism more..

Dinesh Gunawardena

Rev Ulapane Sumangala thero only monk in Prez’s delegation to Japan: Austin Fernando

Mar 15 (CT) Secretary to the President Austin Fernando quashed rumors regarding President Maithripala Sirisena having taken Rev Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero, General Secretary of BBS with him to Japan, insisting that the only Buddhist monk in the delegation was Rev Ulapane Sumangala Thero. Fernando, responding to a question from CT, stated that he cannot remember the names of the entire delegation but assured that there was only a single monk more..

Sri Lanka to start 20MW Jaffna wind power project after delays

Mar 15 (EN) Ceylex Engineering, a unit of LTL Holdings, says it will complete work on two 10MW wind power plants in Jaffna before year-end after the 5 billion rupee project was beset by long delays due to difficulties in finding land. Ceylex Engineering won the international tender in August 2017 to build and operate the wind power plants, and supply power to CEB. The project was delayed because the CEB couldn't acquire land in Jaffna due to objections by the people living in the area. more..

Sri Lankan family pulled from plane minutes before deportation

Mar 15 (NC) A SRI Lankan family whisked from their Central Queensland home by Australian Border Security last week has been given a last-minute temporary legal reprieve from deportation. Since the family was forcefully removed from their Biloela home 10 days ago, members of the Biloela community have sent a petition to the Minister for Home Affairs and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, for the family to be returned. more..

Emergency intact till President decides: Prez Secy.

Mar 15 (DM) The state of emergency would remain for as long as President Sirisena decides to revoke it upon his return to the country on March 17, President's Secretary Austin Fernando said. He said the President, in his proclamation of the enforcement of emergency regulations, did not refer to a deadline. “When questioned at the time the Prez and PM met with the heads of diplomatic missions, President said it would be for one week, and it should have lapsed by midnight of Mar 13. more..

Kohli, Anushka Sharma get holiday invite from Dayasiri

Mar 15 (SL) The popularity and fan-following of these two goes beyond the boundaries of India. The star couple, Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma, has been invited by Sri Lanka’s sports minister, Dayasiri Jaysekera, for a holiday in their beautiful land, reported. “I am not inviting Kohli to play, but I want him to spend a few days here with his wife, Anushka Sharma. After his marriage, he has not visited this country. The couple can be guests of this nation. more..

Japan-SL friendship has turned to strong, friendly and reliable bond: Japanese PM

Mar 15 (PMD) ‘The Japan-Sri Lanka friendship that was strengthened at the San Francisco Conference, has moved forward with a new face under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and that friendship is a strong, friendly and reliable bond’, said the Japanese PM Shinzo Abe. The Japanese PM made these remarks during the special banquet hosted by him at the PM’s Office in Tokyo, yesterday in honour of more..

Sri Lanka ceramic export potential seen in niche products

Mar 15 (EN) Sri Lankan ceramic manufacturers should consider focusing on making personalised products now increasingly being demanded by overseas buyers, a European Union trade official said. “European consumers are moving more towards personalised products which Sri Lanka can provide,” said Roshan Lyman, deputy head of politics and trade, delegation of the European Union to SL. China can’t do that. Personalised products were a small but growing niche market, more..

SLBFE to help bring back housemaid’s remains from Saudi

Mar 15 (DM) The SL Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) would help to bring back the remains of the SL housemaid, who was shot dead in Saudi Arabia, SLBFE said. The deceased had been identified as 38-year-old Jayasekara Priyantha from Galle. The foreign media reported that the Lankan woman was killed by gunfire in Buraidah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning, where a Saudi man, who was accused of shooting her, later committed suicide by shooting himself. more..

Ada Cartoon

SLNS Mihikatha receives 2 main engines from Australian govt

Mar 15 (SLN) Strengthening the long standing bilateral relationship between Australia and Sri Lanka further, the Australian Govt provided 2 main engines for the SL Navy Ship (SLNS) Mihikatha yesterday. High Commissioner of Australia Bryce Hutchesson, as the Chief Guest of the ceremony, officially handed over the 2 engine to the Deputy Chief of Staff and Director General Operations of the Navy, Rear Admiral Piyal De Silva at the base pier of SLNS Dakshina in Galle. more..

Minister wants newly elected local govt members to manage with existing resources

Mar 15 (Island) Since most local councillors do not attend all the sessions there may not be a need to expand the buildings housing local govt bodies despite the doubling of the number of representatives, Minister Faiszer Musthapha says. He said the newly elected local councilors should manage with the existing infrastructure available to them and refrain from demanding extra resources. "Look at the parliament, when do all 225 MPs attend sittings? Likewise, all local councillors more..

Sri Lanka up four notches in World happiness ranking

Mar 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka has moved up to 116 position with a score of 4.471 from 120 in the World Happiness Report 2018. The report ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants. The island was also ranked 43rd in the sub-category of best improvers from 2008-2010 to 2015-2017. The main focus of this year’s report, in addition to its usual ranking of the levels and changes more..

NSB sets benchmark in 2017 financial performance

Mar 15 (FT) National Savings Bank (NSB) said that 2017 marked a momentous year with unprecedented benchmark in financial performance. It said an all-round growth in core business areas complemented by new initiatives enabled the Bank to achieve a stellar Profit Before Tax of Rs. 14 billion – the-highest-ever in its history. Profit After Tax kept abreast at Rs. 9.6 billion. The significant growth in business volumes with an interest income of Rs.103 billion along with a gain of Rs. 1.1 billion from more..

UNICEF commends Sri Lanka raising minimum age of criminal responsibility

Mar 15 (FT) The UN children’s organisation, UNICEF, commended Sri Lanka taking measures to amend the Penal Code to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 8 years to 12 years. The Govt last week gazetted a bill to amend Chapter 19 of the Penal Code, to increase the age limit under which no act of a child is an offence, from 8 years to 12 years. UNICEF in Sri Lanka said a change in the age of criminal responsibility from 8 to 12 years will benefit all children in Sri Lanka, more..

Petitions against Judicature Act: JHU to mediate

Mar 15 (DM) While claiming that some joint opposition members who were fear-stricken due to their past wrong doings had gone before the Supreme Court against the Judicature Act, JHU said it would appear in court today to ensure that the Act would be passed in Parliament without any hindrance. JHU General Secretary and Minister Champika Ranawaka said that Judicature (Amendment) Act was brought in by the govt more..

England's full tour of Sri Lanka begins Oct 10

Mar 15 (CI) England will play their first three-Test series in Sri Lanka in 11 years, but the tour - which also features five ODIs and a T20I - may also clash with the island's northeast monsoon. The matches will be played in Dambulla, Galle, Kandy and Colombo, with the SSC set to host the only Colombo Test. As it is the Tests - set for November - are more likely to be affected by rain than the limited-overs games, which end by October. SLC generally only hosts sides in November more..

Advantage Bangladesh as Shakib returns

Mar 15 (CI) Shakib Al Hasan's surprise return has boosted Bangladesh ahead of their do-or-die game against Sri Lanka in the Nidahas Trophy. Even though he is coming back from an injury layoff, Sri Lanka will be wary of his all-round prowess, particularly in a T20 tournament in which four good overs make a big difference. The home side's batting holds the key for them. Kusal Mendis is in fine form, with the likes of Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga, Thisara Perera & Dasun Shanaka more..

Facebook gave no pledges despite SL claims

Mar 15 (EN) Tech giant Facebook made no new commitments to filter hate speech on their platform contrary to claims by the SL govt, official sources said Thursday. President Sirisena announced that he lifted a ban on Facebook after it agreed to remove hate speech posted on its platform. "My secretary has discussed with officials of Facebook, who have agreed that its platform will not be used for spreading hate speech and more..

Arrest warrant issued on Gnanasara Thera

Mar 15 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday issued an arrest warrant against Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera for failing to appear in Courts over an ongoing case against him. Police Organized Crimes Prevention Division filed a case against the Thera for allegedly making hateful remarks and insulted other religions during a meeting held at Jalagalum Nimna National Park in Polonnaruwa. Accordingly, Magistrate had set the case to be examined on May 10. more..

Govt delegation to leave for Geneva next Monday

Mar 15 (Island) A delegation representing the Sri Lankan government will leave for Geneva next Monday to participate in the UNHRC sessions. Sri Lanka delegation comprises Ministers Tilak Marapana, Sarath Amunugama, Head of the Secreteriat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM), Mano Tittawella, Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle, Advisor to the PM Prashanthi Mahindaratne, and Director-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mahishini Colonne. more..

Sri Lanka to decide on late working hours for women

Mar 15 (ST) The govt will be closely examining the working hours of women in the workplace with prospects of reforms, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. Addressing the Women's Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) he said that the women's working hours would be studied in detail. "Another law that has not surfaced is working late," the minister said adding that it is also another aspect to be looked at to protect women. more..

The Specter Of Gotabaya

Mar 16 (CT) A specter is haunting our land. It is the specter of a Gotabaya Rajapaksa Presidency in 2020. We have forgotten how we feared Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s inviable hand on the levers of power before 8th January 2015. I am too old to care. These words are written not in fear but in despair. As novelist philosopher Milan Kundera said in lyrical elegance, our struggle against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. Just this morning Dinesh Gunewardena was brushing off more..