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Institute of Chemistry to honour three persons for rendering yeoman service

Feb 17 (Island) Council of the Institute of Chemistry at its meeting held on 2nd Feb unanimously decided to honour Professors S Sotheeswaran and Priyani Paranagama and Dr. Sentheshanmuganathan by giving them the award titled Recognition of Chartered Chemists who have rendered Yeoman and Honorary services to the Educational Programmes of the Institute in an exemplary and noteworthy manner. Prof. S. Sotheeswaran obtained the DSc. in Natural Products from more..

Further economic grants from US Millennium Challenge Corporation

Feb 17 (AD) Following its competitive selection by the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) for grant assistance, Govt of SL is now focusing on improving transport infrastructure and land administration in the country, consistent with govt’s Vision 2025. Investing in these sectors will help create the foundation for economic growth with equity. After reviewing the GoSL proposal, MCC agreed to proceed with further due diligence more..

Eran attends tax conference in New York

Feb 17 (DM) State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne represented Sri Lanka at the first global conference of the platform for collaboration on tax, which commenced at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on February 14th. The conference, which was jointly organized by the World Bank, IMF, OECD and the United Nations, focuses on key directions for tax policy and administration needed to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). more..

Marching to her own beat

Feb 17 (Hindu) Her passion, vision, dream and determination has created history. She is Sithara Maduwanthi, a girl in her late 20’s from Sri Lanka, who has been the first female percussionist of her country and the founder of the all-woman drummers band – Thuryaa – based in the capital city of Colombo. As part of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) organized the 8th Int'l Dance and Music Festival last month, Thuryaa was invited to perform in New Delhi, Bhubaneswar and more..

UNHRC to be briefed on progress achieved so far in Sri Lanka

Feb 17 (SL) Sri Lanka will be sending a delegation to the UNHRC in Geneva next month to brief the council on the progress achieved by Sri Lanka so far on the human rights issue. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the UNHRC will be looking at the progress achieved so far and not the political situation in the country at present. “Geneva is on the performance up to date so you will have to judge on what has been done so far,” more..

Discussions to be held between several parties today

Feb 17 (AD) Several discussions will be held today within and between several parties with regard to the current political situation of the country. Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterday stated that the majority of the UPFA will not support the continuation of the current unity govt. Meanwhile, JO leaders yesterday said after meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena that they will support a UPFA govt. However, JO leaders have informed the President, despite their support to UPFA govt more..

Ranjan to work towards a truce between President and PM

Feb 17 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said yesterday he had met President Maithripala Sirisena to bring about a truce with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and iron out any differences between them. He said he met the President as a peace maker. “I am a symbol of peace (Sama Kurulla) and therefore I decided to undertake this mission,” he said. The President had told him that he was under pressure from certain groups who did not want to work with the UNP. more..

Inside story: Ranil-Maithri rift rooted in Presidential ambitions

Feb 17 (CT) The estrangement between President Sirisena and PM Wickremsinghe has its roots in the former’s desire to remain as President until 2025 and not the crisis produced by the results of the LG elections where the parties led by both men suffered heavily. Colombo Telegraph reported in Oct 2017 that there were plans for Sirisena to continue as President beyond 2025, although he had pledged on numerous occasions that more..

Brazilian apprehended with cocaine

Feb 17 (AD) A Brazilian male, arrived from Sao Polo via Doha Quatar was apprehended by the Customs Narcotic officials at BIA yesterday. The suspect has arrived in Sri Lanka in flight number QR 664 yesterday at 9.20am. The suspect had reportedly discharged 45 capsules containing cocaine at Negombo Hospital after undergoing X-ray test. 36-year-old suspect is still under medical surveillance and it is believed that more capsules (drugs inserted in to condoms) are to be dispatched. more..

'Division among 2 ruling parties led to defeat'

Feb 17 (NR) MP Ravi Karunanayake has attributed the LG Election defeat to the on-going division among the two ruling coalition partners of the govt. MP said the long delay to hold the LG Election also contributed to the defeat. He also noted the failure to promote progressive moves and the lack of substantial development projects contributed to the defeat. He stressed the UNP must correct their mistakes adding the party is divided at present and the division will not benefit the party. more..

What do Sri Lanka’s local elections mean for the future of democracy?

Feb 17 (AC) Sri Lanka’s recent local elections saw both the incumbent National Unity Govt and main opposition party, the TNA, suffer serious setbacks. By offering vacuous rhetoric on reconciliation instead of addressing the roots of the country’s political conflict, the National Unity Govt and TNA pushed both local Sinhalese and Tamils – the main contenders in the country’s national conflict – to distrust them as political actors. more..

Right to Information Commission inquiry into missing report

Feb 17 (ST) They mystery surrounding the missing report of the Presidential Commission that inquired into the death of former minister and SLMC founder M.H.M. Ashraff has taken a new turn, with the the commission secretary saying he handed over a copy to the National Archives. In a statement to the Right to Information Commission, Ashraff Commission Secretary said he had informed the Department of the National Archives that he had handed over the commission report more..

Galle Fort Library: A treasure trove of rare books

Feb 17 (ST) The Galle Fort Library built during the Dutch era (1638 – 1796) is an archive of historical documents and contains many rare books dating back to the year1832. The library is a national treasure and needs to be preserved. Identified as the first library of the country, it houses the first journal published in Sri Lanka -the Colombo Journal published in 1832- and also houses historical documentation dating back to 1871. The building first used as the official residence of more..

ගුවන් හමුදා සත්ත්ව රෝහල

Lessons from LG Poll

Feb 17 (CT) Today marks one week after the surprising and humiliating defeat of the Unity Govt co-led by UNP/UNF leader Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe whose party commands a majority in the House, at the LG poll. His defeat was in the hands of his political bęte noire former President Rajapaksa whose new party, SLPP swept the polls garnering 44.65% of the vote whereas the UNP/UNF coalition finished a poor 2nd, getting a mere 32.63%, a massive 12.02% points behind the SLPP. more..

Sri Lanka: The new regime and the revolution

Feb 17 (FT) At a meeting in Davos in 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a speech supporting the agenda on globalisation. Meanwhile, back in the US, President Trump was highlighting the importance of the US confining its national boundaries. America only does not mean America alone, said Trump in Davos. President received a standing ovation for a speech that resonated the importance of collective action to build a better world. However, global reality, with its increasing political fractures, more..

PM displays rare human touch, owns up to defeat

Feb 17 (EN) SL’s beleaguered PM Ranil Wickremesinghe went before a hostile press Friday, his first public appearance after the LG elections, and accepted responsibility for the drubbing. Wickremesinghe fielded questions from journalists while demonstrating unusual calm and composure. He answered the incisive and embarrassing questions without rancour and he even managed to raise a few laughs. more..

CID to courier fresh court notice to former CB Chief

Feb 17 (FT) The CID will ensure that the fresh court notice issued to Former CB Governor Arjun Mahindran to appear in court via currier service and Express Registered International Post is delivered, a top Attorney General’s department source said. The Colombo Magistrate Court issued a fresh notice yesterday to Mahendran, a Singaporean citizen, to report to the CID before 8 March. The court was yesterday told that more..

Welikada Prison massacre : CA re-fixes Petition for support on 5

Feb 17 (FT) Court of Appeal Thursday (15) re-fixed for support on 5 March for issuance of notice in respect of the Writ petition seeking an investigation into the alleged killing of 27 inmates of the Welikada Prisons in Dec 2012 where it is alleged that army, STF, TID as well as the Prison Intelligence stormed and started shooting. Bench comprised Jusices Pathman Surasena (President/CA) and Shiran Gooneratne. more..

UNP MP flays SLFP as SLPP sets condition for backing President

Feb 17 (Island) UNP MP Mujibur Rahuman alleged that the SLFP was exploiting post-Feb. 10 scenarios to overcome its own problems. "We don’t mind them trying to stabilize the party. But that shouldn’t be at our expense," Rahuman said. UNPer insisted that both parties should take the responsibility for the unexpected setback. Rahuman urged the SLFP to be mindful of the situation and take remedial measures more..

JO should be recognised as official opposition: Champika

Feb 17 (Island) JHU leader and Minister Champika Ranawaka said the SLPP should be recognised as the official Opposition. He urged the govt to work immediately to win back the people’s trust as the recently concluded LG election results had demonstrated that there was a vehement opposition among the public to the way the govt had conducted itself. Ranawaka said that the LG election results could be interpreted from different more..

Sea of trash: Inland and overseas garbage washes up on Lanka’s beaches

Feb 17 (ST) The mounting coastal litter along Colombo’s coastal belt and other tourist areas of the country is increasingly becoming breeding grounds for dengue. From plastic bottles to electrical appliances, the list of what ends up along the coast as litter is endless. While tiny particles of discarded plastics (the micro plastic) are destroying marine life, mounting non-degradable waste tarnishes SL’s image as a tourist paradise. more..

'UNP must undergo drastic changes soon'

Feb 17 (DM) While rejecting reports that he would quit the UNP, State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said he would resign from the post of party electoral organiser if party did not undergo drastic and immediate changes. He said UNP MPs including Ministers Ajith P. Perera, Harsha De Silva, Ruwan Wijewardene, Ranjith Maddumabandara, UNP General Secretary Minister Kabir Hashim and himself held similar views on this matter. more..

Big Yahapalana backer shows his disgust

Feb 17 (Island) The National Professionals’ Front (NPF) said the govt had failed to follow a common policy which led to their defeat at the local govt elections. NPF President, Ravi Kumudesh, said the parties had two sets of policies. However, when forming the alliance they should have arrived at a consensus on a policy which both parties could abide by. Instead, the President and PM pulled in two directions more..

When Cops and a Robber take you for a Ride!

Feb 17 (DM) This was an advertisement that appeared in a newspaper. Many would get excited after seeing this advertisement because there were many who had purchased this vehicle, but no one had the opportunity to use it. The above Ad appeared in a newspaper on the Feb 12, 2017. There had been many callers who inquired about this vehicle. Rizvi Ahmed from Galle was one. Owner of the vehicle had been one Danuka. more..

How Mahinda trapped Maithripala with the SLFP leadership

Feb 17 (DM) Maithripala Sirisena is currently in the throes of an acute political crisis after LG poll results. It was only some weeks ago that a pugnacious and cocky Prez Sirisena threatened to wield his kaduwa (sword) against members of his own Govt and Opposition as part of his self-declared crusade against corruption. Little did he realise while twirling his vocal sword that a Damoclean Sword in the form of poll verdict was hanging over him. more..

The Local Poll, the UNP and its future: A plea

Feb 17 (DM) LG Polls have just been concluded. First let us congratulate the present govt for having successfully introduced a new electoral system which on the face of it seems fair though the number of elected representatives might be excessive and for having ensured the most free and fair elections in SL since perhaps the 1960s. With the polls behind us, the weary citizen is back to his daily routine. They will politically wake up only with another election and wake up they will in full force. more..

Beyond Party Politics, 3 crucial issues for SL

Feb 17 (DM) Whatever the party political changes in the aftermath of the Feb 10 LG elections, Sri Lanka needs to focus attention on three crucial issues – poverty alleviation, the battle against global warming and a commitment to resolve crises through dialogue without resorting to war or violence. As part of the mission for poverty alleviation, President Maithripala Sirisena in 2016 launched a countrywide programme for Sri Lanka to produce our own nutritious food. more..

President tells JO he will consult AG on removing PM

Feb 17 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena told JO MPs that he would consult the Attorney General and legal experts on the possibility of removing PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as regards the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. The President said so when he met the JO parliament group members led by MP Dinesh Gunawardena at the President’s official residence in Colombo yesterday. more..

Mahendran ordered to report to CID before March 8

Feb 17 (DM) Colombo Fort Magistrate issued a new order on former CB governor Arjuna Mahendran to report to the CID on or before March 8. Earlier, Fort Magistrate ordered Mahendran to report to the CID before Feb 15 and directed that the court order be sent via Singapore Int'l Police to Mr. Mahendran's residence. However, the Interpol had failed to send the previous notice to his residence in Singapore. Therefore, the court allowed the CID to send the notices via express mail and DHL courier more..

Tea Board Chairman resigns

Feb 17 (FT) Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda said that he has tendered his resignation to Minister Navin Dissanayake. “I tendered my resignation to the Minister this morning (yesterday) and hope to continue my academic work,” he said. When asked if there was a specific reason for stepping down, Dr. Perthiyagoda said he had made the decision last year. “I told the Minister in latter part of last year that I would like to step down and give an opportunity to fresh blood. more..

Cool and confident Ranil carries on as PM

Feb 17 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe radiated a business as usual attitude yesterday as he announced that he would continue in office, and brushed off a week of political uncertainty and chaos as the difficulties of coalition politics in his first public comments since his party was defeated in LG elections. “As far as I am concerned, I am carrying on as PM according to the constitution,” he asserted during his widely anticipated more..

Top diplomats from US, UK, India & China spoke to me: PM

Feb 17 (AM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said four top diplomats held talks with him on the current political situation in the country. PM said the new Ambassador of China, Ambassador of the US, High Commissioner of India and the High Commissioner of UK held talks with him. However, the PM did not disclose the exact topics discussed at the meetings. The diplomatic community in Sri Lanka had urged the govt many a time over the past week to find a solution to the current political deadlock. more..

Prez summons Ministry Secys: All official duties to continue

Feb 17 (CT) President Sirisena had summoned all Ministry Secretaries yesterday and ordered them to continue with their official duties as normal without heeding media reports regarding the ongoing political crisis. This was disclosed to this paper by a Ministry Secretary who had attended this discussion. He said that the discussion had been conducted for around an hour at Prez Secretariat. He added that Prez's Secretary Austin Fernando & PM's Secretary Saman Ekanayake had also attended more..

Bid to apprehend Weeratunga Marapana to leave for UAE

Feb 17 (CT) Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana is to leave for the UAE shortly in a bid to enhance the current diplomatic efforts to extradite SL's former envoy to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga to the country, where he is a person of interest in a Police investigation relating to an alleged fraud in the purchase of aircraft for the Air Force. He could not give a time and date as to when the Foreign Minister would leave for the UAE, but more..

19A took away President’s constitutional power to remove PM

Feb 17 (FT) President no longer enjoys the constitutional authority to remove a PM, Lawyers for Democracy (LFD) said in a statement, in what the civil society grouping said was an attempt to clarify constitutional provisions governing the appointment and removal of a PM in view of misinformation created after the LG elections. “Prior to the 19th Amendment, the President had the constitutional power to remove a PM, but the 19th Amendment took away that power,” statement explained. more..