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CBK calls for talks on foreign judges et al on judicial mechanism

Jan 11 (Island) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has called for extensive discussions on far reaching recommendations, including the participation of foreign judges and other personnel in proposed war crimes probe, made by Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation (CTFRM). The outfit also called for abolition of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), demilitarization of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, more..

Sri Lanka to support Nepal rebuild Rato Machhindranath Temple

Jan 11 (HT) SL Ambassador to Nepal, WS Perera, said Sri Lanka would help Nepal rebuild the Rato Machhindranath Temple in Bungamati and the Ananda Kuti Vihar in Swayambhu. The two significant Buddhist heritage sites of Kathmandu Valley were destroyed in the 2015 April earthquake. In a meeting with the Deputy PM and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi at the Ministry of Home Affairs today, the envoy showed her concerns over the reconstruction of the heritage sites, more..

Apeksha IVF sign MoU with Indian firm on infertility treatment

Jan 11 (TOI) Manipal Assisted Reproduction Centre (MARC) at Kasturba Medical College and Hospital, Manipal signed an MoU with Apeksha IVF and Research Center, Sri Lanka for treatment, research and development programmes at Kasturba Hospital. MoU will help Sri Lankans with fertility problems as Marc offers a wide range of treatment programs for sub-fertile couples seeking assisted conception. Specialists at Marc will train embryologists in SL as part of this project. more..

Video: No instructions to probe IGP's phone conversation: Ministry Sec

Jan 11 (DM) Law & Order Ministry Secretary Jagath P Wijeweera said he was not instructed to conduct an investigation into the controversial phone conversation where IGP Pujith Jayasundara was involved in reference to an arrest by FCID. Responding to a question he said that he had not received instructions from either the President or the Parliament in writing to conduct an investigation into the incident. more..

SL Briefing: Political jostling; an oily mess

Jan 11 (Wire) Former President Rajapaksa dominated the news cycle in the emerald isle over his opposition to leasing of land to the Chinese in Hambantota and his intention to bring down SLFP-UNP govt this year. In his weekly column, Sunday Times’ political editor had the most comprehensive laundry list of the ongoing name-calling between the SLFP and UNP. The verbal fights have become so bitter that UNP ministers have accused President Sirisena’s brother of running the rice mafia. more..

Indian, Sri Lankan fishermen repatriated

Jan 11 (PTI) 51 Indian and 3 SL fishermen were on Tuesday repatriated to their respective countries in line with the decision taken at recent ministerial-level talks held in Colombo, a Fisheries official said. SL Navy handed over the 51 fishermen from TN, arrested over the past few months, to the Indian Coast Guard at the IMBL in the Palk Bay. Similarly, the 3 SL fishermen, released from the Puzhal Prison in Chennai on Jan 8, were handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy at the IMBL, more..

Country must be protected from new forms of colonisation: President

Jan 11 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena vowed to protect the country in the face of modern avatars of foreign colonisation as the country commemorated 199 years since the Uva-Wellassa Freedom Struggle yesterday. The Uva Wellassa battle was termed as a rebellion with those taking part in it termed as traitors by the British. On Jan 10, 1818, Keppetipola Disawe & 18 others were declared traitors of the struggle. more..

Expressway development will lead to large-scale economic growth

Jan 11 (DN) Nihal Sooriyarachchi has been Chairman of the RDA for 13 months, and he is overseeing the ongoing Central Expressway project. While some claim that the project is taking too long and becoming too expensive, he argued that the highway is progressing on schedule in a cost-effective manner. He is also confident that continued expressway development will lead to large-scale economic growth for Sri Lanka while also relieving traffic in major metropolitan areas. more..

Afghanistan seek full membership from ICC

Jan 11 (PTI) Afghanistan Cricket Board is keen to get Full Member status from ICC in February. Afghanistan officials are preparing a comprehensive report to satisfy the criteria. ICC’s guideline criteria for Full Membership states: “A country must play regular first-class cricket (domestic 3-4 day competition) before playing Test cricket. Number of teams and players - sufficiently large pool of players to draw from capable of performing at the highest level of the game.” more..

Wife of slain MP Raviraj appeals

Jan 11 (FT) Wife of slain MP Nadarajah Raviraj filed a case in the Court of Appeal against the ruling of Colombo High Court in her husband’s murder case. Appellant Sasikala Raviraj seeks Court of Appeal to set aside HC’s acquittal of the accused. She filed her appeal on the questions of law lamenting that High Court judge has directed that the trial be by a special jury including in respect of charges relating to PTA and the Judge’s charge to the jury. more..

Former NOC president Roy de Silva dead

Jan 11 (CT) Roy de Silva, a household name in Hockey and the National Olympic Council, passed away on Monday and his funeral will take place today at 6.30 p.m. at the Mahayana General Cemetery over here in Kandy. He served the NOC for 14 long years from 1983 to 1997. He made the country proud by being the acting President of the Olympic Council of Asia when the then President of the Council, Sheikh Al Fahd Al Abah, was killed on the first day of the Kuwaiti invasion. more..

EU & FAO build tank ecosystem in Podiwewa

Jan 11 (FT) The environs of the Podiwewa, a minor irrigation tank in Monaragala, was a hive of activity recently as the villagers from Thimbirigas-ara in Buttala came together with a single intention in mind. The villagers, both young and old joined the Monaragala District Secretary D.S. Pathmakulasooriya and officials from Department of Agrarian Development to plant saplings around the Podiwewa in a bid to develop the tank ecosystem.  Podiwewa is intertwined with the lives of more..

Rubber can raise US$ 5 bn soon: Minister

Jan 11 (DN) Rubber and rubber value addition will result in foreign exchange earnings of about US$ 5 billion in the short run said Minister Navin Dissanayake. However, such influences being unavoidable, he indicated that Rubber and rubber value addition will result in foreign exchange earnings of about US$ 5b in the short run. Expert feedback has indicated that oil prices will continue dominance of rubber price structures. more..

SLBA to pay players

Jan 11 (CT) Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) has decided to repay part of the tour expenses of the players who represented the country at the World Junior Badminton Championships concluded on 12 November at Bilbao in Spain. Rs. 150,000 from the balance of approximately Rs. 400,000 will be handed over to the players today at SLBA Headquarters Reid Avenue. The 19 players (ten boys and nine girls) will share this amount, and SLBA will hand over more..

Inoka to lead Sri Lanka Women’s team in world cup qualifying tournament

Jan 11 (DN) Inoka Ranaweera has been picked to lead the Sri Lanka Women’s team which will take part in the women’s world cup qualifying tournament to be held in SL next month. SL Women’s squad of 14 players was picked by the selection committee headed by Vinodhan John. The tournament which starts on Feb 7 in Colombo is the first to be held in SL. Ten countries including SL are taking part with the first four countries qualifying for the women’s world cup to be held in England in June 2017. more..

Harsha emphasises need for a wise foreign policy in region

Jan 11 (AD) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva stated that Sri Lanka supports the One Belt-One Road economic initiative in line with its historical role played in the Maritime Silk Route, which will consolidate the country’s position to become the Hub of the Indian Ocean while further integrating it with the Asian markets. He was addressing the Public Forum The Indian Ocean organised by National Uni of Singapore. more..

Isuru Udana returns to Sri Lanka T20 Squad

Jan 11 (CI) Nine players will take flight to South Africa to play in the upcoming three T20s which will feature medium pace bowler Isuru Udana, who will return to the team after a lapse of one year. As revealed by Ceylon Today yesterday, uncapped player Thikshila de Silva will be a surprise inclusion in the team, which will also feature Asela Gunarathne, Seekkuge Prasanna, Sachith Pathirana, Lakshan Sandakan, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka & Nuwan Kulasekara. more..

PickMe revolutionizing transportation in SL

Jan 11 (DM) There was always the tuks and then came the metered taxis, which made life a lot easier for those depending on them for transport as it finally meant a standard fee was charged. Then we were hit with PickMe, a service we cannot seem to live without, much due to the level of convenience it offers. Before PickMe came to being, the concept of getting a taxi to your doorstep was available and all it took was a call and an approximate 30 minutes of waiting time. more..

De Silva sees opportunity in face of adversity

Jan 11 (CI) There is something quietly magnetic about Dhananjaya de Silva, and here I am not referring to those velvet legside flicks, or the sleepy six to get his first Test runs, though all of that help. There is an understated confidence about him - the way he slouches at the crease, the lateness of his strokes against even screaming pace, the simplicity of his defence. This is not a man easily ruffled, you think. more..

Editorial: Food for thought

Jan 11 (Island) Even those who did not adore the late TN Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa may agree that some of her political programmes stood the poor in good stead. She set up 657 eateries to serve decent food at nominal prices, according to a report we published yesterday. She may not have wanted to give away food owing to social stigma associated with free victuals. These eating places popularly known as Amma canteens are said to be fully functional even after her death. more..

Foreign participation in war crimes probe reiterated

Jan 11 (Island) Having repeatedly assured the country that the change of govt, in Jan, 2015, had ended the likelihood of foreign participation in proposed war crimes inquiry, the yahapalana govt struggled to cope up with a report released by its own outfit, headed by attorney-at-law, Mrs Manouri Muttetuwegama. Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTFRM) called for full participation of foreign judges, and other personnel, including defence lawyers, more..

Anura Disanayake

Washington’s LTTE dilemma

Jan 11 (DN) United States was disappointed by its failure to salvage the leadership of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger secessionist movement to relocate elsewhere as a foreign policy strategy and to use it as a pressure group to influence changes in Sri Lanka because of its total annihilation by the military. Tamil Tigers’ Debt to America, an insider account authored by Daya Gamage who served at the US Department of State, documents the similarities of Tamil Tiger objectives and postwar trajectory of diaspora more..

Remembering Lasantha, eight years on

Jan 11 (GV) Way back in 2007, when I was assigned one of the biggest investigative stories I were to ever undertake, our editor Lasantha Wickrematunge sent me a text message with a smiley: Make your MIG story bigger than Hiroshima, it read.  Hiroshima it was, as a story, explosive in ways unimagined. It is a privilege to share my perspectives with you today, on Lasantha the editor (who effortlessly groomed his diverse team), Lasantha’s true legacy as I see it, more..

Meting out step motherly treatment

JanJan 11 (CT) Bishop of Batticaloa Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Ponniah said Batticaloa District and Eastern Province is given step-motherly treatment compared to Northern Province. "Diaspora community is concentrating more towards the North and their assistance is more to the people of the North, and there is no assistance to the people of the East. Most of the kith and kin of Diaspora community are from the North, more..

The Curse of the Obstinate Patriarch

Jan 11 (GV) Today marks the second anniversary of the victory of Maithripala Sirisena as the President of Sri Lanka at the 8th January 2015 SL Presidential Election.  And the second anniversary of the 17th August 2015 Parliamentary Election is merely seven months away.  In the shadow of these two anniversaries, I thought of reflecting on what they mean to me in the context of what has happened, and more importantly what has not happened in the interceding two years.   more..

Singer exceeds Rs. 1 bn in Huawei smartphone sales in December

Jan 11 (Island) Huawei announced that Singer SL, exclusive national distributor for Huawei smartphones, has successfully surpassed Rs. 1 bn Huawei smartphone sales generated solely in the month of Dec 2016. As a trusted, state-of-the-art brand amongst the general public, Huawei together with Singer enhanced their sales through the introduction of a number of brand new, innovative smartphones and tablet devices supported by several aggressive marketing initiatives. more..

Political wisdom or hypocrisy that worked well within the last 2 years of the govt

Jan 11 (FT) At the time the Govt was about to celebrate its completion of the two years in office announcing the conversion of the loss making Hambantota Port into a joint venture project that would bring an equity of $ 1.1 billion with an additional $ 600 million for it be made operational with required equipment for the Port handling and an economic zone covering over 10,000 acres of land the opposition was making hue & cry saying more..

Is the Bar responsible for perpetuating laws delays?

Jan 11 (CT) When I was invited by the OPA to deliver a lecture on Laws Delays, emphasizing on the Criminal Law, I reluctantly agreed as I felt that the seminars of symposiums have no effect in Sri Lanka except to make some noise and eat some refreshments and if it is a five star hotel, participate at the cocktails. Laws Delays and remedies if any, are forgotten or thrown into the dustbin. This happens in every sphere where seminars and symposiums are held for edification of more..

Sirisena’s order to extend Wilpattu National Park: Is it to please racists?

Jan 11 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena’s order on 30 Dec 2016 to issue a gazette notification extending the land area coming under the Wilpattu National Park has shocked the Muslims who were trying to get back to their own lands to rebuild their shattered lives. They fear that this announcement include nearby villages such as Marichichukaddy, Karadikuli and Palaikkuli where Muslims lived for generations in their own lands with valid title deeds but were kicked out by LTTE . more..

Fishermen issue: Indo-Lanka coast guards to set up hotline

Jan 10 (PTI) Aiming to address effectively the vexed issue of Tamil Nadu fishermen being arrested by Sri Lanka, Coast Guards of the two countries will set up a hotline for better coordination between the two martime security forces. The hotline will be both at the local and the headquarter level, sources said. Sri Lanka will be the second country after Pakistan to have hotline with the Indian Coast Guard. more..

Reconciliation hampered due to school seggregation: CBK

Jan 10 (NR) Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike says children being segregated in schools, is a hindrance to reconciliation in the country. She made these comments during the introduction of a project titled National unity and Reconciliation through Higher Education today. Issuing a statement, the office for National Unity and Reconciliation said issues related to reconciliation and social harmony still prevails in the country adding that more..

Drone journalism in Sri Lanka: Ethics, regulations and guidelines

Jan 10 (GDI) The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) more commonly referred to as drones for commercial and private use has grown exponentially recently, and especially as restrictions around airspace have been relaxed after the end of the war. Ministry is aware of footage taken by drones, by citizens as well as tourists visiting Sri Lanka, widely available across social media as online video platforms. We recognise that many events today in their promotional material or live coverage more..

Set up industries in H’tota, shift 15,000 acre park to Polonnaruwa: Namal

Jan 10 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said in parliament that he was being blamed for attempting to serve not the people in Colombo who had voted for him, but the people at Hambantota who had never voted for him. PM said so responding to opposition MPs’ allegations that the govt had ordered attacks on protesters including Buddhist monks who agitated against what they termed the sale of the Mamgapura Port and more..

14 districts stuck in poverty

Jan 10 (CT) Govt's anti-poverty war appears to be in vain, with 14 of the island's 25 districts (56%) stuck in poverty, at least in the last four months to Dec 2016, recent data showed. The poverty cut-off point was at Rs 4,130 per mensem last month, up from the Rs 4,089 per mensem in Nov 2016 and from Oct's (Rs 4,064) and Sept's (Rs 4,038) respectively, due to inflation. The Southern Districts of Galle (Rs 3,992), Matara (Rs 3,967), and Hambantota (Rs 3,804) continued to be mired in poverty, more..

Welikada prison riots report in limbo: NMSJ

Jan 10 (CT) National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) demanded that the govt release the last inquiry report on the alleged murder of convicts at the Welikada Prison during a prison riot that took place in 2012. Members of NMSJ called to all stakeholders in the Government, especially Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, to release the 2015 report on the controversial Welikada prison riot. Member of the NMSJ, Saman Ratnapriya said that it has been long overdue since more..