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Du Plessis, bowlers give South Africa vice-like grip

Feb 15 (CI) Sri Lanka were buoyed by Lasith Embuldeniya's debut five-for that rattled South Africa before tea, but hope dissipated soon after as they lost a clutch of wickets to give the hosts total control of the Durban Test. South Africa rode on Quinton de Kock's second fifty of the match and Faf du Plessis' 90 to inch closer to 300 before losing 5 for 8 to set Sri Lanka 304. Then their quicks dug in after a solid second-innings beginning more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka discuss maritime security dynamics

Feb 15 (APP) Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Abbasi and Chief of Defence Staff SL Armed Forces Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne Thursday held a meeting here and discussed maritime security dynamics. During the meeting, matters of mutual interest including defence related collaborations and maritime security dynamics came under discussion. Naval chief highlighted Pakistan Navy’s (PN) efforts for ensuring maritime security and peace in the region through Regional Maritime Security more..

54 university students suspended over ragging incident

Feb 15 (NR) 54 second year students of the Agriculture Faculty of the University of Sabaragamuwa have been suspended for one week. The suspension comes into effect from today and was imposed on charges including ragging new students within the University premises. Dean of the Faculty Dr. Manjula Magamage said the suspension was a minor punishment. The students were reportedly suspended over an incident reported on the 12th of February. more..

Video: Ranjan could be right about ministers using cocaine: DV Chanaka

Feb 15 (AD) UPFA MP D.V. Chanaka expressed his views in response to State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake’s recent remarks alleging that there are some politicians and athletes in Sri Lanka who consume cocaine. MP said that while he appreciates Ramanayake’s disclosure about the ministers he does not believe the allegations made about the country’s athletes. The reason for this, he explained was due to the fact that more..

Applications called for 2019 A/L exam

Feb 15 (DM) Dept of Examinations announced Feb 25 as the deadline for accepting applications for the GCE A/L exam for 2019. Examinations Dept Commissioner said late submissions would be rejected and that the applications should reach the department on or before March 1. Applications had already been sent to schools to hold the exam under the new and old syllabi. Applications for private candidates had been published on Dinamina, Daily News and Thinakaran on Feb 13. more..

Woman dies due to acid attack

Feb 15 (DN) A woman from Kamburupitiya had died due to an acid attack carried out by two persons while she and her daughter were asleep at their home. The mother and daughter had been asleep in their home at Amalka Niwasa, Bolagewatte, Rathkekulawa, Kamburupitiya around 10.30 pm when two persons had entered the house, attacked them with acid and fled. The victims were admitted to the Kamburupitiya, Aandapana Hospital and the mother was later transferred to the Matara more..

SriLankan probe: CBSL Deputy unable to answer judge’s query

Feb 15 (Island) The law did not allow the Central Bank (CB) to issue Treasury bonds to raise funds for institutions, member of the Presidential Commission on SriLankan, Court of Appeal Judge Gamini Rohan Amarasekara said. He asked Deputy Governor of the Central Bank S.R. Attygalle who would be held responsible if such funds were misappropriated. Attygalle told the PCoI that he was in not in a position to answer that question. more..

Arrested ports worker’s ma-in-law apprehended

Feb 15 (CT) Veyangoda Police, having searched the Veyangoda house of the SL Ports Authority worker, who was apprehended for having possessed a stock of Kerala ganja, along with a Sub Inspector (SI) attached to the Presidential Security Division (PSD), at Nochchiyagama, on the night of 13 Feb, have also arrested Ports worker’s mother-in-law, who had also possessed three kilos of Kerala ganja. The arrested woman is aged 63. The raid had been led by the OIC of the Heedogama Police Station, more..

Madush’s arrest another step in President’s drug eradication programme: Amaraweera

Feb 15 (AD) A presidential candidate, selected in agreement with President Sirisena and former Prez Rajapaksa, will be put forward for the upcoming election, says the General Secretary of UPFA Mahinda Amaraweera. He stated this speaking to the media in Lunugamvehera yesterday. Commenting on the alleged ties between former DIG Nalaka de Silva and Makandure Madush, MP said that Nalaka de Silva’s named was also mentioned in the VIP assassination plot as well. more..

Dispensing antibiotics sans prescription common: Ruhuna Uni study

Feb 15 (CT) The Uni of Ruhuna has revealed that dispensing antibiotics without a prescription is a common practice in local pharmacies and that in most instances, pharmacy staff neither inquired after patient’s history nor requested the patient to obtain the advice of a doctor. The simulated client study (described as a study, which involves sending people to a particular area, not revealing their identity to anyone nor providing their more..

Prez & PM condemn Pulwama terror attack

Feb 15 (GDI) Prez Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe have condemned the Pulwama terrorist attack and offered their condolences to Indian PM Narendra Modi. At least 37 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district. “I strongly condemn the brutal terrorist attack in more..

Policies matter over politician: Basil

Feb 15 (FT) SLPP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa said the party would focus on formulating and giving popularity to their policies as they believe policies would attract voters more than a candidate. “There is no other country like Sri Lanka which had to learn a hard lesson from working toward the victory of a particular individual. Therefore we think that policies should be given focus as they have the power to attract voters as much or more than the candidate,” he added. more..

Farmers seek redress from HRCSL over drought compensation

Feb 15 (CT) The All Ceylon Peasants’ Federation (ACPF) lodged a complaint, with the Human Rights Commission of SL, against the Polpithigama Divisional Secretary, for allegedly not giving compensation to farmers who were affected by the drought in 2018. Convener for ACPF, Namal Karunaratne claimed that Polpithigama DS has not given compensation during the period of the political Crisis of 26 Oct 2018. more..

Apeksha Hospital responds: Certain pvt lab test bills reimbursed

Feb 15 (CT) The Apeksha Hospital for Cancer Patients, while noting that is compelled to divert their patients to private sector hospitals, to carry out certain laboratory tests, due to the unavailability of such facilities in the Govt health sector yesterday, insisted that such bills are reimbursed once provided with the receipt. Acting Director of Apeksha, Dr. B.I. Kurukulasuriya, responding to the story in Ceylon Today on 14 Feb titled Cancer patients in a quandary, wrote that more..

Govt can’t postpone 2020 Prez Poll: Dullas

Feb 15 (CT) UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma stated that the Govt will not be able to postpone the 2020 Presidential Poll based on Article 30(3) of the Constitution. MP stated that though the Govt had intentionally delayed the staging of the LG Poll and the Parliamentary Poll, they will struggle to delay the Presidential Poll as it would entail a direct violation of the Constitution. He made these remarks during an event held to inaugurate a weekly fair in Kekanadura in Matara on 13 Feb. more..

Tourism leaders rattled by FCID witch hunt

Feb 15 (DM) Two private sector tourism leaders, who had been caught up in a legal battle for over two years initiated by the FCID, called for law enforcement agencies to act responsibly and with great scrutiny as their short-sighted actions carry massive consequences. Tourism industry veterans Nilmin Nanayakkara and Mervyn Fernandopulle, who represented the private sector on the SL Tourism Promotion Bureau more..

Catholic Bishops Conference condemns death penalty

Feb 15 (NR) Catholic Bishops’ Conference in SL has condemned the decision to re-impose the Death Penalty. Full statement: We the Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in SL wish to make the following statement with regard to the issue of the Death Penalty. The supreme Pontiff Holy Father Francis has approved a new revision of number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We wish to reiterate the following teaching given by the Universal Shepherd on this matter. more..

So Sri Lanka wins the Best Decorated International Pavilion

Feb 15 (GDI) Embassy of Sri Lanka in Manila with the support of the SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) for the second consecutive year participated at the 26th Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) Travel and Tour Expo 2019 from 08 to 10 Feb 2019 at the SMX Convention Center, Manila. The said Expo is the biggest annual exhibition to promote inbound and outbound tourism market in the Philippines. This year's Expo awarded Sri Lanka destination booth So Sri Lanka as more..

U.S. Coast Guard trains SL port officials

Feb 15 (USE) From Feb 11 through 13, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) conducted port security capacity building at the Port of Colombo with more than 25 Sri Lankan port officials. The event strengthened the port’s security capabilities through drills that improved agency coordination and the implementation of the port’s security plan. SL’s improved maritime security will not only provide greater protection against terrorism and more..

Special adviser of Japanese PM to visit SL

Feb 15 (NR) MP and Special Advisor to Japan PM Kentaro Sonoura is due to arrive in Sri Lanka today. He will hold meetings with the Lankan govt to further promote the bilateral relationship between the two countries, including cooperation for realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Sonoura will also attend the closing ceremony of the Oil Spill Incident Management Training of the SL Coast Guard under the Grant Aid of the govt of Japan, to be held today at the Colombo Port. more..

Sri Lanka Medical Council under pressure to remove corrupt member

Feb 15 (CT) The Govt Medical Officer’s Association (GMOA) in a letter addressed to the Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Wasantha Perera urged her to initiate a full scale investigation in to the allegations of massive financial frauds carried out by the sacked ex fake director of Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital (SJGH) Susitha Senaratne. The GMOA has also urged the Secretary to remove Senaratne from his position at the Sri Lanka Medical Council as a ministerial appointee. more..

Public Trustee: Sanath Weeratne

Crisis of the Constitution

Feb 15 (FT) Now, economically, Sri Lanka is in a state of virtual bankruptcy, which cannot be controlled. Politically too, it is on the verge of anarchy. Fluctuations of political crisis affect the economic crisis while those of economic crisis affect the political crisis. Viewed from whatever angle, Sri Lanka is now in a situation of imminent fall into a great crisis. But it does not seem to have received the attention of the political leaders and the intelligentsia of the country. more..

Health Sector Deficit

Feb 15 (CT) Sri Lanka boasts about universal free healthcare services, but the reality is different. Free Health doesn’t mean being able to see a doctor free of charge, generally, after spending hours at a State hospital queue, only. It also means recourse to free medicines, in-house medicare and surgeries, if needed. Though a patient may obtain free consultancy services at a Govt hospital, there, however is no guarantee, that such services will also be complemented with free medicines, more..

Sri Lanka to grow 3.5% in 2019: World Bank

Feb 15 (FT) SL’s growth is expected to recover moderately to 3.5% in 2019, up from 3.1% last year, the World Bank said yesterday, but warned the country will face stiff headwinds from high debt repayments, difficult global environment, and possible political instability due to elections at home. Releasing the latest Sri Lanka Development Update 2019, World Bank said the economy is expected to rebound from a low base more..

Feasibility before tabs: Thilanga

Feb 15 (FT) UPFA lawmaker Thilanga Sumathipala called on the Govt to commence a pilot project to assess the practicality of providing tablet PCs for A/L students. The proposal, which has been in the works for some time, was given Cabinet approval recently. The project is expected to cost about Rs. 5 billion, and has been criticised as a waste of Govt resources by education experts, who have pointed out the funds could be used for more..

CCTV: Kanjipani Imran’s mistress Kudu Chuti shot at home

Feb 15 (AD) A woman sustained critical injuries in a shooting incident at Melwatte area in Kotahena last night (14). The police had identified the injured woman as Asha Faari alias Kudu Chuti, who had been involved in drug dealing. More information was subsequently uncovered that Asha Faari alias Kudu Chuti is the mistress of Kanjipani Imran who was recently arrested in Dubai along with drug kingpin Makandure Madush, more..

Challenge of extraditing Makandure Madush and other criminals in Dubai back to SL

Feb 15 (FT) The notorious underworld criminals and drug smugglers including Makandure Madush, who were arrested in Dubai, could not be brought back to the country as SL’s Parliament has not yet endorsed the Extradition Treaty signed by Sri Lanka and UAE, a top legal expert said. “Treaty was signed by the two nations in 2002 April 29 but it was not placed before the Parliament for the approval yet. more..

EU reiterates need for Sri Lanka to repeal and replace PTA

Feb 15 (EU) The European Union (EU) and Sri Lanka held their 22nd meeting of the Joint Commission on Thursday (14), in Brussels. The meeting was held in an open and constructive spirit. Developments in both the EU and in SL were discussed. Bearing in mind the resilience of the democratic institutions which had prevailed during the political events in Sri Lanka late 2018, the EU reiterated its full support for the Govt's efforts more..

'US shouldn’t place too much emphasis on human rights'

Feb 15 (Island) Former Commander of the SL Navy Admiral Dr. Jayanath Colombage, told American officials including Assistant Secretary to the US Department of State Thomas L. Vajda that the US should not place too much emphasis on human rights and democracy when working in Sri Lanka. He said so at a roundtable discussion on the Indo-Pacific Region held at the Taj Samudra in Colombo. more..

UPFA still hopeful of common candidate

Feb 15 (FT) UPFA still has not ruled out the possibility of a common candidate for the Presidential Election, despite SLPP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa’s earlier statement that the Party will not support anyone outside the Party as a Presidential candidate under any circumstances. “The final decision on the common candidate will be taken after a lengthy discussion between Prez Sirisena & Opp Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

NPC urged to probe Kelaniya police

Feb 15 (Island) Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Kenya Sunil De Silva has requested the National Police Commission (NPC) to inquire into the conduct of the Kelaniya police following a series robberies there. The Ambassador said that he had no option but to seek the NPC intervention as the Kelaniya police had disregarded Police headquarters instructions. The following is the full text of High Commissioner’s letter titled more..

Regulators suspect in Naiwala killer theme park failures

Feb 15 (ST) When 48-year old Janaki Gangodawila and her 13-year-old daughter Araliya Rasmi set off from their home in Kotugoda looking forward to a day of thrills at a theme park in Naiwala, Gampaha, they could not have foreseen deadly consequences. The mother and daughter were killed when the gondola of an attraction named the Octopus broke off and tossed them aside causing fatal injuries. more..

Madush Underworld and free market economy

Feb 15 (DM) The arrest in Dubai of Makandure Madush and a few others wanted here in SL for drug trafficking and murder, first made stories in media giving credit to different persons for the meticulously planned arrest. Since then, not only the mainstream media but social media too, worked overtime to churn out speculative, juicey stories. Making stories on bits and pieces of information picked from often unconfirmed sources and more..

Madush a product of the system

Feb 15 (DM) Dy Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran, who was in hot water in July last year for praising the one-time administration by the LTTE before it was militarily decimated, told a few days ago that it was the southern politicians, who spread liquor and various drugs in the North after the end of the war, in order to demoralize the Tamil youth. Nobody contested her claim this time but comments made by many southern politicians have vindicated her stand that politicians were behind spread of drugs. more..

Can Dubai teach SL lessons on drugs?

Feb 15 (DM) The drug issue in SL made everybody look beyond drug lord Makandure Madush because a leading musician and his son were also among those arrested in Dubai. Now the focus is on singer Amal Perera who is said to have been at a party where, according to Sri Lankan media, drugs had been used by some of the guests. Perera’s involvement blows the drug related issue out of proportion and we now even see that much money is spent to hire lawyers & get artiste released. more..