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Lankan minister’s prize-winning bull has air-conditioned caravan, filmy style

Feb 12 (ENS) Separate rooms, a swimming pool and air-conditioned caravan for hassle-free transport. No, it is not for human beings, it is all for SL Minister Senthil Thondaman’s jallikattu bulls that struck gold at the famed Alanganallur event. We treat the bulls like our family members. They have separate rooms and a swimming pool for the bulls. As swimming is the best exercise to make them strong, tank was converted into an exclusive more..

Rajitha asks FCID to go for the big fish

Feb 12 (Island) The govt says that the FCID was established to investigate mega corruption during the Rajapaksa regime, but unfortunately that objective had not been achieved. Asked as to what had happened to the govts pledge to unearth billions of rupees in State funds that the Rajapaksa’s had allegedly siphoned off while in power, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said on Friday that the FCID had produced results, more..

Controversial Israeli architect here next week

Feb 12 (ST) A world renowned Israeli architect, Moshe Safdie whose firm’s name has been linked to a secret plan that was part of the Israeli govt’s campaign for settler homes in private Palestinian lands, will be the chief guest at the annual sessions of the SL Institute of Architects next week. He is well known worldwide for his architectural expertise. Mr. Safdie is referred to as the Father of modern architecture. more..

LTTE supporters demonstrate opposite Sri Lankan HC in London

Feb 12 (Island) A group of pro-LTTE activists living in London demonstrated opposite the Sri Lankan High Commission, while Independence Day celebrations were held last week. Although the demonstrators were assigned a designated area with barricades, they walked in front of the High Commission premises and shouted slogans such as Our leader Prabakaran, Our nation Tamil Eelam. more..

Mahinda meets members of Maithri Camp as Govt plans a referendum

Feb 12 (CT) The majority of members of the two main parties of the Unity Govt, UNP and the SLFP seems to stand on the same ground when it comes to the continuity of the controversial SAITM, while others who stand poles apart politically and socially were seen coming under one umbrella and sitting on the same stage against the institution. Though it is questionable under what moral grounds they could stand together in more..

Vimukthi Jayasundara, the lone Sinhalese to have directed an Indian film

Feb 12 (ENS) Links between Indian and Sri Lankan cinemas have had a long history, going back to the late 1940s. But while many Indians have directed Sri Lankan movies, only three Sri Lankans have directed Indian films so far. The three Sri Lankans are: Batticaloa-born Balu Mahendra, maker of the prize winning Veedu, Sandhya Ragam and Thalaimuraigal; Punguduthivu-born V.C.Guhanathan, who turned out more..

NWSD workers’ work to rule continues: Services not affected: NWSD

Feb 12 (DM) Some 1,000 employees of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) have launched a work to rule campaign from yesterday against what they claim as a demotion of their services. Members of the Engineering Diploma Holder’s Association (EDHA) and Technical Officers’ Association (TOA) have refused to work overtime, night shifts and maintenance shifts during the weekend. “Employees will be on duty at more..

Constitutional Tensions and Mixed Messages

Feb 12 (Island) When it seemed that there was nothing left and it was all over insofar as the government’s commitment to constitutional changes was concerned, there were new developments last week that are pleasantly surprising and politically reassuring. The first sign of hope emanated from a meeting President Sirisena had last Wednesday (8) with representatives of about 50 civil society organizations at the Presidential Secretariat. The second sign of optimism came from more..

SAITM without the Healing Touch

Feb 12 (Island) The SAITM is caught  in a legal and political battle that keeps getting hotter by the day. This looks like a Donald Trump case in reverse. Why do you say that? Trump has been turned down by the Court of Appeal, and says he will fight on in the Courts. So, what’s happening here? Minister Kiriella warns the SLMC to carry out the Appeal Court decision on SAITM. Looks like he has not heard of the Supreme Court. It looks more a battle on law than on medicine. more..

Police Counter Terrorism Unit warns of LTTE resurgence

Feb 12 (ST) Police Department’s counter terrorism arm, Terrorism Investigation Division (TID), believes there is a resurgence of the LTTE in the North, 6 years after they were militarily defeated. The seemingly alarming findings, hotly disputed by others familiar with the developments, are contained in a report sent to Police Chief Pujith Jayasundera by TID’s head, acting DIG Nalaka de Silva. Report, copy of which was seen by Sunday Times more..

Akaragama soil mining: Permit holder vows to appeal ban

Feb 12 (ST) Two permits issued for soil mining at the controversial soil excavation site in Akaragama, Divulapitiya has been cancelled, Acting Director General of Geological Surveys and Mines Bureau, Sajjana De Silva said. But, he said the permit holders can appeal within 14 days from the date of cancellation and the final decision will be taken by the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment. The controversy over the site developed after Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake visited more..

JO opposes state property sales

Feb 12 (CT) Joint Opposition has decided to hold an island-wide series of public protest demonstrations as a national campaign against the arbitrary sale of govt property. Former President Rajapaksa is expected to add his weight to the demonstrations. First demonstration is scheduled for 27 Feb. MP Bandula Gunawardena said that it was decided to hold the first protest on this particular day because it was the day on which the govt's alleged Treasury Bond scam at the CB took place. more..

Is Bond money laundered?

Feb 12 (CT) Speculation is rife in Colombo's corporate circles about a plan to restructure SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) venture featuring the Texas Pacific Group (TPG) of America as the private collaborator. It is learnt that TPG has already been doing business in Sri Lanka with an investment of US$ 117 million in the Union Bank (UB) in Colombo. TPG is predominantly a US-based more..

JVP raises issue of step-motherly treatment to Navy

Feb 12 (Island) JVP demanded to know from the govt whether any decision had been taken to reduce the number of naval cadres and to limit the recruitment by the Navy. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the Navy started a navy patrolmen division with 25 cadres in 1984 with the intention of deploying them in land operations and assisting other security forces on amphibious operations and ground combat duties and now has evolved to a division of around 5000 cadres. more..

Prez Commission report on Ashraff’s demise sought

Feb 12 (Island) SLMC Chairman Basheer Segudawood has requested President Sirisena to immediately release Justice Weerasekara report on the demise of the founding leader of the party M.H.M. Ashraff in Nov, 2000 as a result of an accident involving an SLAF chopper. Former Minister Segudawood alleged that though Justice L.K.G. Weerasekera had submitted his report within the stipulated period to the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga, it was yet to be released. more..

Who shot at Dr. Senaratne?

Feb 12 (CT) The time was past 8:30 p.m. The telephone at the security office of the SAITM University of Malabe started ringing. The caller said, "I am Dr. Sameera Senaratne. Two persons shot at my vehicle and escaped." He is the CEO of SAITM. Dr. Senaratne reported the incident to one of his police friends too. The friend informed the incident to the acting OIC of the Mulleriyawa Police Station. A police team was quickly dispatched to more..

Vaccination mandatory for Hajj pilgrims

Feb 12 (SO) Health Ministry has made it mandatory for all Hajj pilgrims to be vaccinated against brain fever and meningococcal meningitis to prevent the entry of meningococcal meningitis to Sri Lanka. “We have made this vaccine available at all port health offices so that we can prevent the entry of meningococcal meningitis to Sri Lanka. Therefore, we have made it compulsory that all Hajj Pilgrims to receive this Meningococcal vaccination before departure,” more..

Dy foreign minister raises concerns over Trump’s economic policies

Feb 12 (wsws) US President Donald Trump’s trade threats and nationalist policies have shocked sections of the ruling elite in Sri Lanka as the island-nation faces an increasingly desperate economic crisis. Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva gave voice to these concerns in an address to the National Chamber of Commerce annual meeting late last month. Trump’s policies, de Silva said, could dampen the global trade flow as never before and would seriously impact on SL’s economy. more..

Bond issue: AG appoints 9-member team to assist Commission of Inquiry

Feb 12 (ST) A 9-member Attorney General’s Department team headed by Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera, has been appointed to assist the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) and to look into irregularities in respect of the issuance of Treasury Bonds (TB) including the controversial Central Bank TB issue of Feb 2015. Team comprising senior officials of AG’s Dept, were nominated by AG Jayantha Jayasuriya, more..

Mahindra enters into 3 new businesses in SL

Feb 12 (Island) Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, a part of the USD 17.8 billion Mahindra Group based in India, last week announced its entry into three new businesses in SL with the debut of Truck & Bus, Construction Equipment and Powerol businesses here. The company will set up these three new businesses in partnership with Ideal Motors Ltd, its long standing partner of over eight years, the announcement said. Mahindra has strengthened its position in Sri Lanka over the last 8 years more..

13 striking pictures of Sri Lanka's Navam Perahera Festival

Feb 12 (PT) Monks, drummers, fire stuntmen, dancers and some 50 trained elephants, mostly from central part of the island, thronged into Colombo from various regions of Sri Lanka to participate in the city’s biggest two day annual Buddhist procession known as Navam Perahera ‘street pageant’ starting from February 9 and 10, which was first held in 1979. Here we look at 14 visuals showcasing the vibrant and dynamic event. more..

Karuna leaves SLFP, forms TUPF

Feb 12 (ST) Former Eastern Commander of the Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, launched a new political party, Tamil United Freedom Party (TUFP) in Batticaloa yesterday, breaking away from the SLFP, in which he was Vice President during the previous regime. Announcing the inauguration of the new party in Focus Hall, Batticaloa, more..

EDB to support branded exports

Feb 12 (SO) Export Development Board (EDB) is helping to organise into a cluster, apparel exporters who have invested in and developed their own brands as part of an initiative to support their overseas marketing efforts. Chairperson of the EDB, Indira Malwatte said the clustering approach will help strengthen the position of apparel manufacturers who have developed their own brands to penetrate overseas markets. “The EDB has clustered all apparel brands,” she said. more..

Knight in shining armour

Feb 12 (ST) In the latter part of the 1970s, serving as a cub reporter at the now-defunct Sun newspaper, the Ministry of Public Administration was one of my beats. While the public service was still in its heyday politics was slowly (but surely) creeping in. On one occasion I walked into the office of the Secretary to the Ministry, in an era of Permanent Secretaries now gone-by. D.B.I.P.S. Siriwardena, at his desk, got up to greet me. He was dressed in full white – nicely creased short sleeved more..

Jayasuriya back in business: SLC CEO

Feb 12 (ST) Bringing an end to all speculation about the tendering of the resignation of SL National Cricket Committee Chairman Sanath Jayasuriya, now it is reported he is as usual back in business. There were speculations on Thursday that the four-member Cricket Selection Committee, headed by Sanath Jayasuriya had resigned citing interference. The news item stated that the reason for the Jayasuriya resignation more..

UN praises Sri Lanka’s commitment to sustainable development

Feb 12 (NR) Sri Lanka’s commitment to sustainable development and ending climate change has come under praise from the United Nations as the country works towards the international community’s steadfast support and understanding for nation building. UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman speaking on behalf of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at Sri Lanka’s 69th Anniversary of Independence celebrations noted the island nation’s commitment to more..

China tells India to stay off its Indian ocean colony, Sri Lanka

Feb 12 (Forbes) After claiming South China Sea to be its own sea, telling America to stay off its islands, China is reaching for the Indian Ocean, telling India to stay off its own colony, Sri Lanka. That’s something investors in Southeast Asian markets should keep a wary eye on, as it opens yet another front between the two Asian giants, raising the geopolitical risk of investing in the region. Markets, for the time being, seem to be ignoring these risks. China’s And India’s Equities more..

SriLankan Airlines fails in new bid to lease aircraft to PIA

Feb 12 (ST) SriLankan Airlines lost a fresh bid this week to win a Pakistan Airlines (PIA) A 330 aircraft wet lease tender following the end of its 6-month commercial contract of the first aircraft lease in a three-A 330-deal inked in August last year. These developments had followed tough negotiations by the top brass of the national carrier over the past few weeks with their PIA counterparts who repeatedly requested for a discount on more..

Nipun fights Selector’s membership bias with performances

Feb 12 (ST) What does a budding batsman have to do to catch the eye of a National Selector? Is it the runs he scores or, is it the club he represents? Bloomfield Cricket & Athletics Club Skipper, Nipun Karunanayake, a product of Nalanda, has all the essential ingredients that is required. A leading batsman in the Premier Division with an aggregate of 926 runs to his credit, with 3 centuries and 4 half-centuries, Nipun lost a golden opportunity to reach the coveted 1,000-run mark this year. more..

Series took its toll: Coach Graham Ford

Feb 12 (ST) The turnaround between tours are so severe that Sri Lanka who left South African soil last night will play Australia in a three-match T20 series, in less than 96 hours after arriving Down Under. The scheduling has been so intense that half of the T20 squad left straight to Australia from South Africa, with hardly any time to recover mentally and physically after facing South African hostilities over a two months period. At the post match press conference Graham Ford more..

'Chandimal should go back to club cricket'

Feb 12 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal has been advised to go and work on his game in club cricket by Sri Lanka's chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, after the tour of South Africa concluded with a 5-0 ODI defeat. Chandimal endured a difficult time in South Africa, where his highest score was 36 in 12 international innings. He was eventually dropped from the ODI XI for the last two matches. more..

Inoka bowls SL women to victory

Feb 12 (CT) With one of best bowling efforts by skipper Inoka Ranaweera, the Sri Lanka Women's team managed to register a comfortable win by eight wickets over Zimbabwe at the ICC Women's qualifiers played at the NCC yesterday. Zimbabwe elected to bat first and SL bowlers Inoka Ranaweera, Chamari Polgampola and Chamari Atapattu dismantled the Zimbabwean batting line-up picking up eight wickets amongst themselves as Zimbabwe were bowled them out for 149. more..

Eight weeks of torture in South Africa

Feb 12 (Island) The eights weeks of torture in South Africa is finally over. If Sri Lanka’s series whitewash over Australia last year gave us any false assurance that all is well with our cricket, we have been just given a rude wake up call. It’s all back to square one. The bilateral series against Bangladesh next month will perhaps open us up to harsher realities. Whitewashed in Tests, whitewashed in ODIs, many Sri Lankans boarded the flight from Johannesburg yesterday with their confidence shattered. more..

COPE comes hard on culprits

Feb 12 (CT) 15 public enterprises had caused a massive loss of Rs 110 billion to the national economy during the past three years, said the Chairman of the COPE Sunil Handunnetti presenting the third COPE report to Parliament. And in-depth study of the report shows that govt institutions have spent public money for political purposes and non-economic activities. The problem is that the law is not implemented against those who are more..

SAITM controversy heats up

Feb 12 (SO) Arjuna Mahendran has not managed to steer away from controversy, even after he bid adieu to his most high-profile post; that of former Governor of the Central Bank. Presidential Commission appointed to probe the alleged bond scam has commenced work: The members of the Commission held their first sitting at the Justice Ministry this week. Attorney General’s Department also said it would appoint a panel of lawyers to assist the members of Commission during the probe. more..

Angoda political psychiatry case before Medical Council

Feb 12 (Island) Last week Harsha Tilakasiri a former personal staff member and valet to minister Champika Ranawaka made a formal complaint to the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Medical Council, Professor Carlo Fonseka, alleging that he had been given treatment against his will at the Angoda mental hospital for a mental illness that he never had. The translation of the letter he submitted to the Medical Council goes as follows: I was an executive chef at Water’s Edge Hotel and functioned as more..