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President likens CC to abused child

Feb 22 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena, said in Parliament that the Constitutional Council was politicised and there had been a political hand behind the recent appointments and promotions made by it. Participating in the debate on the Constitutional Council, the Prez said: "The 19th amendment was like a child that we brought up together. The same amendment gave birth to the Constitutional Council. more..

Dudley to secure release of poor in remand prisons

Feb 22 (Island) Dudley Sirisena, Businessman and the brother of President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that he would help secure the release of all suspects in remand prisons, who languish there as they were unable to pay fines below Rs. 10,000 or their families had no money to post bail. Addressing a news conference of the Araliya Group at Kadawatha, he said, he would discuss the matter with the Commissioner General of Prisons. He said he would do so on in three stages. more..

CC not independent with political representatives in it: MR

Feb 22 (CT) The Constitutional Council (CC) should change as it is not independent, Leader of the Opposition, Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed yesterday (21). “The CC should change. How can it be independent when the PM, his representatives and other political Party representatives are there?” he queried. Meanwhile, when journalists inquired about Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake’s recent comments on drug use by certain MPs, Rajapaksa refused to comment. more..

Power plant construction tender: Batagoda, Lakdhanavi battle it out in Ravi’s presence

Feb 22 (Island) Minister Ravi Karunanayake, assured that the govt’s decision in repect of the construction of two 300 MW liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants wouldn’t be reversed. Sri Lanka couldn’t further delay decision on Kerawalapitiya power plants under any circumstances, Karunanayake said after the conclusion of an open forum at his ministry, where Ministry Secretary Dr. Suren Batagoda had a heated argument with COO of Lakdhanavi, Dammika Nanayakkara over more..

Sri Lanka aims to boost Ceylon black tea exports to China

Feb 22 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka aims to increase exports of its popular Ceylon black tea to China and will launch a mega digital advertising campaign across China by May, Chairman of SL Tea Board Lucille Wijewardena said here Thursday. He said that China is one of the leading markets for SL tea and the govt aimed to raise its exports percentage into the Chinese market this year. Lucille said it was encouraging that people from China had started drinking black tea from Sri Lanka and more..

Pigeon race from Kilinochchi to Colombo

Feb 22 (CT) The 57th battalion of the Army had organised a pigeon race, which commenced from Kilinochchi recently. The event was held at the Kilinochchi Maha Vidyalaya Playground and 241 pigeons were released simultaneously for the race. Out of the 241 pigeons that were released, 214 of them had covered a distance of 280 kilometres before arriving at the pigeon stronghold in Colombo yesterday morning. The pigeon race was witnessed by a large gathering in Kilinochchi and more..

Sri Lankan probe: Former CEO acquired four Airbuses etc without Board approval

Feb 22 (Island) SriLankan had decided to acquire four Airbus A350-900 and obtain on lease four more and they amounted to more than 50% of the total SriLankan assets in 2013, Yasantha Dissanayake, Head of Financial Management at SriLankan said. PCoI was informed that CEO Kapila Chandrasena had decided to go ahead with the transaction without obtaining approval from the Board of Directors. more..

Champika on TNA to join govt

Feb 22 (DN) Minister Champika Ranawaka invited the TNA to accept ministerial portfolios and join the govt to make a more effective contribution towards developing Jaffna. He was speaking to the media after inspecting the progress of construction work at the new Jaffna bus stand. Speaking in the presence of MP M.A. Sumanthiran and Northern Governor Suren Raghavan, Ranawaka said Sumanthiran and other TNA MPs had helped the govt to protect democracy and likewise they should accept more..

Ministers urged to cooperate with COPE, COPA process

Feb 22 (Island) Presenting the first report of the Committee on Public Accounts in Parliament, yesterday, for the period from June 6, 2017 to Dec 08, 2017, COPA Chairman SLFP MP Lasantha Alagiyawanna said that the subject ministers of the entities that had been investigated, were expected to provide explanations within two months. According to Alagiyawanna, the report included 27 investigations on 25 public institutions. He pointed out that the COPA report also included more..

Prez says 14 judges badger him for promotions

Feb 22 (EN) Prez Sirisena told parliament that 14 judges were appealing to him to secure their promotions after having been over looked by independent Constitutional Council. President attending an adjournment debate on the conduct of the CC, which is empowered to veto presidential appointments to the superior courts and several other key institutions, accused the independent body wrong doing. more..

Navy arrests 13 TN fishermen

Feb 22 (Hindu) SL Navy has arrested 13 fishermen – eight from Mandapam near Rameswaram and five from Jagadapattinam in Pudukottai district – along with three vessels on a charge of trespassing into the territorial waters of the island nation after crossing the IMBL while fishing on the high seas. Reports received here said the fishermen, who ventured into the sea on Wednesday morning, were fishing on the high seas when the Sri Lankan Navy personnel arrested them in the evening. more..

Sri Lanka cuts statutory reserve ratio, releasing liquidity

Feb 22 (EN) Sri Lanka has cut the statutory reserve ratio, 1% to 5%, helping fill liquidity shortages in the banking system generated from earlier defence of a soft peg, while keeping policy rates unchanged. "The Board arrived at this decision following a careful analysis of current and expected developments in the domestic economy and the financial market as well as in the global economy, with the broad aim of stabilising inflation at mid single digit levels in the medium term to enable more..

Malinga to lead Sri Lanka in World Cup

Feb 22 (DN) One of SL’s most experienced World Cup campaigners Lasith Malinga is certain to lead his country to the mega event in England later this year after the intervention of Sports Minister Harin Fernando led to patching up differences between Malinga and two other former white ball captains Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews. “The captaincy won’t be an issue after the Sports Minister had a meeting with the three of them,” more..

Navy assists to identify the sand mining areas in Trincomalee

Feb 22 (SLN) After issuing a temporary order of prohibition for sand mining around the Mahaweli river from 15 to 28 of Feb, SL Geological Survey and Mining Bureau has planned to carry out a field survey in order to assess the sand mining process in Trincomalee district from 21st to 23rd Feb and they have obtained the assistance of SL Navy for this mission. Accordingly, large number of places used for sand mining were inspected during the field survey conducted yesterday (20) and suitable places for more..

Youth in Lanka losing hunger for knowledge, says writer

Feb 22 (Hindu) The youth in Sri Lanka’s northern province, unlike the previous generation, does not seem to have a thirst for intellectual pursuits, according to Santhan Ayyadurai, a bilingual writer from Sri Lanka and the 2017 recipient of the Premchand Fellowship, the highest honour that the Sahitya Akademi confers on a foreign writer. Pointing out that people from the Jaffna peninsula were once known for their enterprise and yearning for acquiring scholarship against heavy odds, more..

Public sector change essential for growth: CIMA President

Feb 22 (FT) Public employees must step up to serve the masses by breaking through archaic systems, improving efficiency and self-learning, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) President Steven Swientozielskyj said, warning that when the public sector is sluggish that could spill over into an overall development slowdown. Drawing extensively from his 40-year experience in the British rail industry, Swientozielskyj, speaking at a CIMA event more..

SLC stake holders elect official under probe for match fixing

Feb 22 (Island) In a surprise move, Sri Lanka Cricket stakeholders have voted for Ravin Wickramaratne, who is under probe for match fixing. Wickramaratne was elected as Vice-President at yesterday’s SLC AGM obtaining 82 votes. There were five contestants for the two slots of Vice-Presidents and Shammi Silva and Pramodaya Wickramasinghe withdrew their nominations making it a three cornered contest. Along with Wickramaratne, K. Mathivanan was elected Vice-President. more..

Parakrama to be new Deputy Chairman/MD at Aitken Spence

Feb 22 (FT) Top professional Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake has been appointed as the Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC with effect from 15 March. This is following the retirement of longstanding Rajan Brito from the post next month after 17-year stint. However, he will continue to serve on Aitken Spence Board as a Non-Executive Director. Brito joined the Board in April 2000 and was appointed Deputy Chairman and Managing Director in January 2002. more..

Budget will be important and interesting: Mangala

Feb 22 (FT) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday said that the upcoming 2019 Budget, the first by the UNF Govt following the breakaway of the coalition with SLFP, will be important and interesting. Speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka’s new monthly event Breakfast Buzz, Samaraweera didn’t give specifics, but quipped the 2019 Budget to be presented on 5 March will be important and interesting. more..

Can Thurstan or Isipathana end 20 winless year jinx?

Feb 22 (DN) 56th Battle of the Brothers schools cricket encounter ushers in the start of a series of Big Matches that will be the focus for the next two months or so and one hopes the Thurstan-Isipathana clash for the Blackham Wijewardene Memorial Trophy starting at the SSC today will end in a win for one of the sides as this encounter has not produced a winning result for the past two decades. Let this first Big Match of the school season set a winning trend for the rest of the matches to follow. more..

Many top slots up for grabs

Feb 22 (CT) First National Track and Field Trials will be held this Friday and Sunday at the Sugathadasa Stadium Colombo. These will be worked off as the first selection trials for the Asian Athletics Championship to be held on April 21-24 in Qatar. The trials will also be useful when choosing the pool for the forthcoming South Asian Games to be held later this year in Nepal. Local athletes will also have the chance to achieve the qualifying standards of the forthcoming IAAF World Athletics Championship more..

Embuldeniya set for surgery after thumb dislocation

Feb 22 (CI) SL left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya is almost certainly out of the Port Elizabeth Test after severely dislocating his left thumb while attempting to take a return catch on Thursday, the opening day. Embuldeniya left the field immediately clutching a warped and bloody thumb, before an X-ray revealed the extent of his injury. It is such a bad dislocation that Embuldeniya will likely undergo surgery on Thursday evening. He is expected to take six weeks to recover fully. more..

Vishwa delighted dismissing world class Amla for a golden duck

Feb 22 (Island) Left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando has done remarkably well in SA in both Test matches. Having picked up eight wickets in the Durban Test, he was on the money again with the new ball accounting for Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla in successive deliveries. Amla was in fact dismissed for a golden duck. "I am very pleased with the way I was able to get Hasim Amla out. He is a world class batsman and it was nice to dismiss him early today. I knew I had an lbw appeal turned down against him in Durban. more..

De Kock rises above South Africa's besieged batsmen

Feb 22 (CI) Across the world, batsmen are not having a happy time in Test cricket right now. If you're not being blasted out in Australia, you're being nicked off in West Indies, turned inside-out in England, ground into the dust in Bangladesh, or - and perhaps this is the worst indignity - smiled all the way back to the dressing room by nice-guy New Zealand, who will later come to a press conference and talk about how beautifully you batted for your 7 off 42 balls. more..

Crops among the concrete: Community gardening in the city

Feb 22 (Roar) I turn into a narrow, gravel lane adjoining Horana road, where I come upon a greenhouse, with light moss snaking down its otherwise pristine walls. Opposite the house, surrounded by the green wired fence lies a generous plot of land—about 5,000 square feet—populated with large vegetable patches, shrubbery, and a butterfly garden. This is not what I imagined an urban garden to look like. more..

Rather complacent view across the seas too

Feb 22 (Island) Cassandra sent up a silent prayer to herself. She adds fresh Ambewela milk to her tea and coffee and has no need to buy milk powders, which recently, after listening to that Deputy Minister from Down South – I mean Bentara gangen eha (or meha) – caused fear to people, and most unfortunately children, had imbibed pig’s fat. She is Trojan Cassandra by pseudonym and a Sinhalese by inherited name. Thus no religious abhorrence to the snorting pig, only natural disdain at a creature that wallows more..

Editorial: Move to scrap GFSE: Address the cause

Feb 22 (Island) Barking up the wrong tree is apparently our political leaders’ shtick. They have got it down to a fine art. They nominate the dregs of society to contest elections, and when clashes occur among those rowdies, they call for abolishing the preferential vote (manape) system. Thus, in trying to solve all other problems, they struggle to tackle the effects and not the causes. No wonder the country is beset with so many problems. President Maithripala Sirisena has endorsed a move to abolish more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Vijaya’s killing and JVP

Feb 22 (CT) With the appearance of a film made on the life of late Wijeweera there were comments or rather demands on present JVP leaders to make self-criticism about their political history. One Pandit said “Absolutely true. If either the JVP or FSP makes a self-criticism it will be the first step in the long road back. Let us we see whether either will do so at the seminars and discussions on the Wijeweera movie.” Many said “don’t the artistes and musicians who get on the JVP stage and/or applaud the JVP, more..

Accountability of Govts

Feb 22 (CT) “Analytically, when the words do not mean exactly what they ought to have meant, there itself, the aspirations and the objectives get mixed up. Therefore, the sense of responsibility also becomes vague and negatively affects the specifics related to Accountability. Govts are elected periodically through a series of manipulations and deceptions aimed at the ultimate goal of coming to power by hook or crook, achieved through an honourable sounding arrangement named as more..

Transforming State Media into Public Media

Feb 22 (SO) A fortnight ago, people belonging to various sections of the artistic society, i.e. art, drama, media, cinema, went to almost all the mainstream media institutions carrying a message of transforming the media mechanism to one that is more responsible towards the public. This is a claim that cannot be easily disregarded. While some sections of the media regarded their initiative as a joke, some media stations welcomed more..

A milestone in cancer cure

Feb 22 (DN) Doctors and health professionals of the Apeksha Hospital National Cancer Institute, Maharagama (NCI), have successfully completed 52 bone marrow transplant (BMT) surgeries. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne commended the dedication of all who contributed to the task. No patient died after surgery. A ceremony was held at the NCI recently to mark the achievement. According to the Consultant Oncologist attached to National Cancer Institute, Maharagama more..

The most wanted heir apparent!

Feb 22 (DN) The dynamic nature of SL’s political alliances has come into focus as the leaders of SLFP, SLPP and UNP grapple with selecting candidates for the forthcoming presidential election due in less than ten months. Arguably it is the SLFP and the SLPP that find themselves in a more delicate position. That is because the SLPP is, in essence, a breakaway faction of the SLFP, born out of the necessity of becoming a political vehicle for former Prez Rajapaksa after he was defeated in 2015 more..

'Chandrika works with ulterior motives'

Feb 22 (CT) Leader of the Democratic Left Front (DLF), MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara says the bond which was created between Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa, is a decisive political achievement. Q: According to you, what took place on 26 Oct was a political game. And now that the game is lost haven’t you all fallen further? A: Political transformation which took place on 26 Oct was defeated due to two Court verdicts. more..

Protecting wetlands & Addressing climate change

Feb 22 (CT) Human civilizations have grown and thrived in river valleys and coastal plains with abundant wetlands for thousands of years. These wetland systems, with their rich natural resources, have been critical to the development and survival of humanity and are part of our natural wealth. Wetlands exist in every country and in every climatic zone, from the polar regions to the tropics, and from high altitudes to dry regions. They are places where the land is covered by water, either salt, more..

Telephone call judgments, whitevanning & Constitutional Council

Feb 22 (CT) If my memory serves me right, I cannot recall an occasion in SL’s recent history when the Executive and the Legislature of SL drew as much praise and applause as they did, both from our own citizens and the international community, than on the occasion of the passage of the 19th Amendment. It is perhaps the single greatest achievement of this House in recent times, and it stands as President Sirisena’s single greatest achievement since his election to office in January 2015. more..

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