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No agreements which will endanger economy & culture of country: President

Feb 13 (PSL) President Sirisena emphasized that the Govt will not enter into any agreement, which will endanger the local economy and the culture of the country. President pointed out that even though the political rivals spread false rumours regarding the agreement to be signed with India in the future, these are baseless allegations. He made these observations participating in an opening ceremony of ready mixed concrete factory more..

Korea's Saemaul Undong to assist four rural villages for export market

Feb 13 (DN) Saemaul Undong Center in Korea will assist four rural villages to be converted as major export oriented villages soon. Global Saemaul Undong Centre Cooperator, in Sri Lanka Lee Doo Won said that with this intention they have already picked two villages in Eheliyagoda and Rambukkana. "We will provide them technical assistance and even equipment and groom them to manufacture products suitable for the Korean market." more..

Wages Board allowances increased to spur attendance

Feb 13 (FT) Parliament has passed new regulations under the Wages Board Ordinance to encourage members of the respective boards to participate in meetings to widen the scope of industries. The new regulation increased the allowance of Rs.400/- paid to Wages Board members appointed by the Minister to Rs.1, 500/- and the members representing employees and employers from Rs.500/- to RS.2, 000/-. Moving the new regulations for approval, Minister John Seneviratne noted more..

Parliament amends fisheries laws on EU guidelines

Feb 13 (FT) In an effort to fall in line with European Union regulations, Parliament yesterday adopted new laws amending the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act No.2 of 1996 to take action against offences committed beyond the maritime borders of the island. The new measures are expected to improve Sri Lanka’s appeal to overturn a ban on fishing exports to the EU, which came into effect early last year. more..

Video: Thisara claims hat-trick

Feb 13 (DM) Thisara Perera became only the fourth bowler to have taken a hat-trick in T20 internationals when he picked the wickets of Hardik Pandya, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh of successive deliveries during the second T20 match. After that brilliant 19th over, 26-year-old all-rounder ended with a figure of 3-0-33-3. Thanks to his exploits, Lankans somehow managed to restrict the innings under the 200-run mark. Brett Lee became the first bowler to pick a hat-trick in T20I more..

Fonseka’s Welikada cell gets facelift

Feb 13 (CT) Speculation is rife in political circles as to which prominent MP or State official of the previous regime will next be incarcerated. The speculation has been triggered by the fact that the infamous 'S' ward of the Welikada Prison in which former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and late actor turned politician Vijaya Kumaratunga were detained is being hurriedly renovated. FCID and the PRECIFAC are currently investigating several cases of more..

Navy halts Yoshitha probe

Feb 13 (NS) All investigations conducted by Board of Inquiry of the Navy on Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa has been temporarily halted due to his arrest on allegations of money laundering, Navy Spokesperson said. Navy appointed a Board of Inquiry to probe several issues including Rajapaksa’s educational qualifications and his overseas travels which were not approved by Navy Commander. more..

FCID net closes around top MPs

Feb 13 (CT) Investigations into several cases of corruption and fraud allegedly committed by some of the most prominent MPs and high-ranking officials of the previous regime are said to be nearing completion. FCID investigations into a sum of Rs 3.5 million alleged to have been illegally earned by a minister of the previous regime have not to date been able to establish justiciable facts so far. A senior Police official said that around 35 cases relating to which investigations had been more..

New Blood transfusion to UNP

Feb 13 (NS) In a dramatic turn of events within the UNP, party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will shortly restructure the high command of the party to infuse new blood into the top level administration in a bid to pave the way for future leaders, party sources revealed. Wickremesinghe is now studying the pattern of performances of all Members of Parliament at the last presidential and parliamentary elections to identify prospective young members who performed well. more..

Maj. Gen Milinda Peiris new Chief of Staff

Feb 13 (SLA) Major General Milinda Peiris, currently the Vice Chancellor at Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) has been appointed as the new Chief of Staff (COS) of the Sri Lanka Army effective from 12 Feb 2016. Major General Milinda Peiris who has a distinguished career in the Army for 35 years is attached to the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps (SLAC). He is the 47th Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army, more..

Major General Sumedha Perera appointed new Deputy Chief of Staff

Feb 13 (SLA) Major General A.K.S Perera, Commander, Security Force Headquarters - Central (SFHQ-C) has been appointed as the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Army, effective from 16 Feb 2016. Major General Perera, more popularly known as Sumedha among his associates is attached to the Gajaba Regiment and has a career span of more than 35 years. He replaces Major General E.M.M Ambanpola who is retiring in a couple of days. Here follows a brief profile of Major General more..

Significant growth predicted for local construction sector in 2016

Feb 13 (Island) "The construction sector will record significant growth this year with the active participation of the private sector in Sri Lanka, president, SL Institute of Architects Harsha Fernando said. "The private sector recorded minute growth under the previous regime but is now picking up, he said. "During the previous regime, only the govt was actively involved in the construction work due to their infrastructure projects. Now the private sector is playing a pivotal more..

Colombo committed to reconciliation

Feb 13 (Hindu) Aimed at designing a reconciliation mechanism in the post-civil war SL, Minister Mangala Samaraweera appealed to the victims on both sides of the divide to participate in a consultation process. A task force, comprising 11 citizens, has been constituted with Manouri Muttetuwegama, a senior advocate, as chairperson. It came into existence formally on Friday with Mr. Samaraweera launching its website. more..

Top legal firm to assist Kusal Perera

Feb 13 (DN) Vibrant opener Kusal Perera's cricketing future lay at the hands of his lawyers as he prepared to battle out his case against doping charges brought against him by the ICC's Anti-Doping Committee. The wicket-keeper/batsman was tested positive for a banned substance in early December and faces a lengthy ban from international cricket. Perera is currently serving a provisional suspension imposed by the ICC until his case is heard. He has time till end of April. more..

Video: Eight arrested over bicycle theft

Feb 13 (DM) Eight people were arrested by the Bambalapitiya Police on charges of stealing four three-wheelers and selling after cannibalizing them. Police said two were arrested yesterday and based on their statements the other six suspects and the three-wheelers were taken into custody today. “The arrested will be produced in Courts,” Police said. Meanwhile, the Police released CCTV footage of a man stealing a bicycle outside a tuition class in Ja-Ela seeking public assistance to more..

Police chief stakes rise after AG appointment

Feb 13 (EN) President Sirisena overlooking the senior most state legal officer in choosing the attorney general has fuelled speculation that the same criteria - ability over seniority - will decide the next police chief. President had initially suggested three names -- Suhada Gamlath, Kapila Jayaratne and Jayantha Jayasuriya -- and wanted Constitutional Council to pick a candidate. However, Council sent the names back to President more..

Storm clouds gather over a nation

Feb 13 (AA) In a country where astrological predictions continue to determine the life of many and politicians hardly make important moves without consulting their favourite soothsayer, superstitions often sway people. So when President Sirisena's band of faithfuls were preparing the nation to celebrate the completion of his first year in office on Jan 8, a music video eulogising him suddenly surfaced in public. Not only did Sri Lanka's plethora of electronic media air it, more..

V-Awards to fete volunteers

Feb 13 (DN) V-Awards was initiated to recognise SL's volunteers islandwide, who are engaged in volunteer activities out their own free will to increasepositive changes in the society. It being the 3rd edition of honouring inspiring acts of volunteerism, Grand Finale of V-Awards 2015 will be held today at Nelum Pokuna Theatre. Renowned personalities such as Kumar Sangakkara, Pooja Umashankar and Lahiru Perera have endorsed this endeavor as Goodwill Ambassadors. more..

Possession of baby elephant: AG names Uduwe Thera as a suspect

Feb 13 (DN) Attorney General (AG) has given instructions to CID that Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera be named as a suspect and necessary steps be taken to produce him in Court for allegedly possessing a baby elephant without a valid licence. AG observed that there are sufficient evidence to initiate criminal proceedings against Ven. Dhammaloka Thera under Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance. more..

Dhoni's quick hands, and the low full toss fusillade

Feb 13 (CI) Thisara Perera had had a modest evening with the ball until he was called upon to bowl the penultimate over, which completely turned his figures around. He bowled two wides amid his first three deliveries, and then the wickets came. Hardik Pandya slapped a shin-height full toss to long-on, before Suresh Raina lap-swept the next full toss aerially to short fine leg. Yuvraj Singh only just came to the crease, but tried to smack Perera's final ball out of the ground. more..

Aitken Spence records Rs. 1.1b as PBT in 3Q

Feb 13 (FT) Leading conglomerate Aitken Spence posted its interim results to the CSE. The blue-chip’s financial results for the quarter that ended on 31 December 2015 saw profit-before-tax decrease by 25.3% to Rs. 1.1 b while profit attributable to equity holders decreased by 26.7% to Rs. 637 m. Revenue for the quarter fell by 14.6% to Rs. 6.7 b. The diversified group’s nine-month results showed profit-before-tax decreasing by 28.3% to Rs. 2.6 b and profit attributable to more..

India thrash Sri Lanka to level series

Feb 13 (CI) On a dry surface in a dusty Ranchi ground, India's top order moved into customary home form, and their bowlers exposed a fragile Sri Lanka top order. Shikhar Dhawan was bruiser-in-prime, unleashing an early shellacking that brought him 51, and set the team on course to a big total. They reached 196 for 6, thanks to helpful hands from the top five, which today included a pinch-hitting Hardik Pandya. more..

Mathew became a superstar: Julian Bolling

Feb 13 (NS) Sri Lanka’s swimmers proved to be a sensation at the ongoing South Asian Games (SAG) in India and according to one of the team’s coaches Julian Bolling the Sri Lankans swam faster because they encountered competition, unlike back at home. Bolling, one of four coaches who accompanied the swimmers, praised all the swimmers and refused to single out any member as the find of the tour. In an email interview Nation did with Bolling, he stressed that the authorities should more..

Colombo soon to see indigo

Feb 13 (ST) HSBC Colombo Fashion Week is to paint Colombo blue later this month. Indigo is this year’s inspired theme as the country’s largest fashion festival returns to the ramp for the 13th time. Announcing its arrival, President of CFW Ajai Vir Singh unveiled an exciting collection of events that will unfold from Feb 20–26. Celebrated Italian designer Gaetano Navarra of Milan Fashion Week fame will be at CFW this year along with the popular Bangladeshi designer Bibi Russell. more..

Entrepreneurs to get boost from President’s Germany visit

Feb 13 (FT) Cabinet this week approved a slew of agreements to be signed during President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Germany, which kicks off on Monday, where the Government is expected to push for increased engagement for economic growth including assistance for regaining GSP+. During the Cabinet meeting held last Wednesday, members approved a MoU between SL and German Association more..

Constitution making: Avoiding the pitfalls of past mistakes

Feb 13 (SO) The govt has promised a new constitution this year. It was only last year that the current constitution was updated. Although the project was announced with much fanfare in the wake of victory, it fizzled out unceremoniously, leaving behind a makeshift document. Presumably, it is that fiasco that has prompted the rulers to usher in 2016 with a brand new constitution. In doing so, it would be wise to reflect on the reasons that sabotaged last year’s effort. more..

Upali Wijewardene a native son whose vision embraced the world

Feb 13 (Island) It was almost 33 years ago on 13th Feb 1983 that Phillip Upali Wijewardene founder Chairman of Upali Group of Companies considered the business tycoon of Asia disappeared in his Private Learjet plane with his business associates and staff. Upali was on his way to Sri Lanka to celebrate his 45th birthday which as on 17th Feb. This incident sent shock waves throughout almost the entire world. Govt of SL took steps to trace him via SL Navy and 7th Fleet of U.S Navy more..

JVP press conference

Death threat on democracy

Feb 13 (NS) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s shocking revelation to the Parliament that he received a death threat demanding that he give recognition to the Joint Opposition as an independent group in Parliament is perhaps a first of its kind in the history of our parliament. The call could have been originated not necessarily by an MP representing the Joint Opposition. It could well have been made by anyone sympathizing with the cause of the Joint Opposition or merely by an outsider more..

Secret behind Fonseka’s re-entry

Feb 13 (CT) Whenever Sarath Fonseka emerges in politics, those opposed to him appear excited and confused. Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka is a sensation in every field he treads because those who envy him view this character as a sensational figure, may be with fear. Fonseka is outspoken and that had been to his disadvantage on many occasions. Be that as it may, when Sarath Fonseka was engaged at Temple Trees signing the agreement with Ranil Wickremesinghe, more..

Anuradha dejected over poor organizing

Feb 13 (CT) Marathoner Anuradha Indrajith Cooray ended the day in disappointment and dejection as he was placed second after leading the marathon up to the last 100m. This unfortunate incident was due to a miscommunication and mismanagement of the organizing committee as well as Sri Lanka team management. Cooray who was leading the race with ease was told that they should run a lap inside the stadium after more..

Editorial: Remembering a great leader

Feb 13 (Island) A portrait of the late President D.B. Wijetunga was unveiled in Parliament on Thursday to mark his birth centenary. It will shine like a jewel in the Diyawanna Augean Stables, the cleaning of which requires many a statesman like him. The loss of DB, as he was fondly known to one and all, is felt more than ever. It is only matured, patriotic leaders of his calibre sans greed for power who are equal to the task of hoisting the country from the present mire of dirty politics. more..

Non-interfering but emphasizing on realities

Feb 13 (CT) In comparison, the visit made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein to Sri Lanka a few days ago was more cordial than the visit made by his predecessor Navanethem Pillay in August 2013. During Navanethem Pillay's visit to the island in August 2013, former President Rajapaksa was away from the island touring Belarus. It was when Navanethem Pillay was completing her visit to the island that Mahinda Rajapaksa who returned from more..

A murder being unravelled

Feb 13 (SO) CID investigations into the disappearance of cartoonist cum journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, which was moving at a slow pace is now a hot topic, with the lable patriot and traitor on those connected to the incident. Investigations during the Rajapaksa regime appeased those in favour and humiliated others who opposed the regime. As the investigations progress, certain people are perturbed as to what is beginning more..

Time for Tamil politicians to think of suffering Jaffna Muslims

Feb 13 (CT) Despite criticism at the slow pace of fulfilling election promises, tribute should be paid to President Sirisena for allowing the singing of the Tamil version of national anthem during the island’s 68th Independence Day celebrations. Addressing the ceremony to mark the event he called on all citizens to work collectively in harmony, friendship and brotherhood to face the decades ahead. This was a welcome gesture especially at a time when desperate racist political forces more..

Thoughts on historic singing of national anthem

Feb 13 (CT) Singing of the National Anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil languages on National Independence Day is of crucial significance due to several major factors. First of all, it is a singular achievement for all progressive and democratic forces throughout the country and the world who had stood, and continue to stand for, the principles of equality, dignity, autonomy and security of all citizens of Lanka. It is an achievement for all those who respect unity in diversity, more..

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