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Govt funds research on value added spice products

Feb 13 (DN) Funds have been allocated to carry out research on adding value to local spices in order to expand export markets. Minister of Primary Industries and Social Empowerment, Daya Gamage said, Rs. 146 million has been allocated for research on spices which is being carried out by five universities. At present cinnamon is the largest foreign exchange earner in the spice sector, Gamage said, adding that lack of human resources is an issue for the expansion of the sector. more..

Parties propose measures to expedite termination of case against Tissa Attanayake

Feb 13 (DN) The parties in the case filed against UNP former General Secretary Tissa Attanayake yesterday informed the Colombo High Court that they expect to expedite measures to terminate case proceedings initiated by the Attorney General against Tissa Attanayake. AG had filed indictments against Tissa Attanayake for allegedly displaying a fraudulent document to the media during the last Prez Election for the purpose of affecting the result of then Common Candidate Maithripala more..

AG’s department has commenced forensic audit: Perera

Feb 13 (DN) Following the instructions given by Sports Minister Harin Fernando the Auditor General’s Department has now commenced a forensic audit on the financial transactions of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) from 2016-2018, SLC competent authority and Sports Ministry secretary Chulananda Perera said. “Minister Fernando gave instructions to conduct a forensic audit at the end of January this year and more..

Angelo Perera keen to continue domestic form in Tests

Feb 13 (Island) Middle order batsman Angelo Perera, who was drafted into the SL Test squad to play in South Africa following his twin double hundreds in a First Class match expects to make the most of the opportunity. Perera, who has already played ODI and T-20 cricket for Sri Lanka is expected to make his Test debut in the first Test against South Africa starting in Durban today. "It feels good indeed to be called up to the Test squad. As a player that is what you have been more..

SriLankan Engineering successfully completes first C-check on A320neo aircraft

Feb 13 (AD) SriLankan Engineering, the aircraft Maintenance-Repair-Overhaul (MRO) arm of SL’s national carrier, achieved another milestone when it successfully carried out its first C-check on an Airbus A320neo aircraft of the SriLankan Airlines fleet at its main hub at BIA. Vipula Gunatilleka, CEO of SriLankan Airlines, said: “The highly dedicated and talented Engineering team worked tirelessly to achieve this milestone and once again has strengthen our position as an MRO in more..

Dimuth confident Sri Lanka can find a way to score runs in South Africa

Feb 13 (CI) Sri Lanka are missing their two most experienced batsmen in Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews, and have several uncapped players in the squad, but new captain Dimuth Karunaratne believed his team can still find a way to score some runs in South Africa. Given the magnitude of the challenge that awaits them, SL's outlook is not great. Over the past three years, there has been no greater challenge for batsmen more..

The problems of public servants

Feb 13 (CT) It is surprising that the Govt has sought actively to create further trouble for itself, on top of the problems it faces with regard to dissension within the ranks, confusion as to policy priorities, and the economic mess it has created by excessive borrowing and excessive spending. Only possible explanation I can think of is that it has decided to take its money & run. Mangala, supreme realist, has made it clear, therefore, that he will not tolerate a Customs Chief who acts independently. more..

Why independence still matters - I

Feb 13 (Island) At a time when Sri Lanka is caught in a tug-of-war between India and China on the one hand and between China and the West on the other, "independence" would appear to be a misnomer. Both the Reserve Bank of India and the Bank of China are reportedly considering increasing the loan quantum to the country to $1 billion each. Generous as these offers may look, they mask an unpalatable reality: Sri Lanka can no longer rely on the international bond market for debt servicing. more..

Banks advise customer vigilance against ATM fraud

Feb 13 (SO) Several people across, the country, have reported being victims of ATM fraud within the last few weeks. Some reported that amounts of Rs. 80,000 and more, were missing from their accounts. Banks, (to their credit - no pun intended), during the same period, took steps to cancel the defrauded ATM cards and inform the victims that the missing amounts will be deposited to their accounts within a week. more..

19-A, Sirisena govt’s achievement, must be defended

Feb 13 (Island) In Jan 2015, 6.2 million Sri Lankans voted for a new Sri Lanka, giving a mandate for far reaching reforms, even as a rainbow coalition of disparate opposition parties and civil society organizations backed a common candidate for the presidency and Maithripala Sirisena, who had defected from the Rajapaksa administration shortly before and launched a blistering criticism of his erstwhile boss, defeated a deeply entrenched and populist president who sought to leverage more..

Edtorial: Prince Philip and our potentates

Feb 13 (Island) Husband of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, has voluntarily surrendered his driving licence to the police following a recent accident, where his vehicle crashed into another, injuring a woman. Buckingham Palace did not trot out lame excuses, and the Duke of Edinburg, 97, faced it. Was the Royal family without a single chauffer willing to take the blame for the crash and surrender to the police so that the duke could get away? This is the question many Sri Lankans may have more..

Face the Nation

Seeing the bigger picture

Feb 13 (DN) On May 19, Sri Lanka will celebrate the 10th anniversary of victory over terrorism. The 2009 victory promised the Northern Province many things. A flourishing economy and a peaceful environment were among them. Many development projects took off in the province following the victory, but not much to the satisfaction of the country’s think tank. The economic phenomenon of the war-affected province is yet to reach its ultimatum. A study commissioned by Central Bank more..

Exalted chair

Feb 13 (DN) It is reported that members of Parliament who have been identified for unruly behaviour, ignoring parliamentary ethics in the house may face judicial actions for violating parliamentary privileges and also obstructing the Speaker continuously from performing his official duties. It is further reported that the Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri who headed the Parliamentary Committee that looked into this ugly behaviour of certain people’s representatives on more..

'American Zone of 33,000 acres to be set up in Trinco'

Feb 13 (CT) UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa says that a no-confidence motion has to be brought against Malik Samarawickrama who prepared the Agreement with Singapore. Q: The CID questioned you and your wife, for over three hours, in connection with the plot to assassinate Prez Sirisena, it seems as if allegations against the UNP have turned back on you? A: An Indian national is taken into custody more..

Sri Lanka’s rise in EODB ranking

Feb 13 (CT) Last week, SL jumped eleven positions from its last year’s Ease Of Doing Business (EODB) ranking, now being ranked in 100th position from a previous placing at 111th position and also being placed in 13th position in Asia. This was after several years of being heavily downgraded, as a result of losing confidence among the international business community. Within the past two years, the country has proved some remarkable gains in this index by climbing a total of 22 positions. more..

Lord Ahmad reveals constructive meeting with Mangala in London

Feb 13 (Island) Thanks to UK Human Rights Minister Tariq Mahmood Ahmad (Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon- Conservative) we now know, instead of using Lord Naseby’s disclosure in Oct. 2017 in the House of Lords to defend Sri Lanka on the Geneva front, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt, in Oct 2018, and the UNP, in January 2019, reassured Sri Lanka’s commitment to those controversial punitive UNHRC Resolutions. On the basis of UK military dispatches from Colombo, in 2009 (Jan-May), more..

New car? Here are four road trips you should consider taking

Feb 13 (Roar) As we all know, SL is a beautiful island with many sights, all ideal components for the perfect road trip. The mainstream areas can be easily accessed via public transport, which of course saves money and takes you through beautiful routes. But there are pros to taking an old-fashioned road trip in a car, too, such as taking in the sights on your own time, unlimited bathroom breaks (though this may infuriate your fellow more..

Re-visiting the narcotics issue

Feb 13 (CT) The arrests in Dubai of many celebrants, presumably Sri Lankans, in a joint operation by our Law Enforcement officials and the Dubai officials, has brought into focus many interesting issues. 1. Almost all the detainees have tested positive for narcotics and are to be brought before their Courts in Dubai. 2. Considering the UAE’s attitude towards, even alcohol and the heavy penalties that are imposed, it is probable that these arrestees may even invite execution. more..

Failure of another new constitution?

Feb 13 (CT) It is not only the aekeeya/orumiththandu confusion and the draft provisions for a new constitution that are questionable, but also the procedure and the process that were followed in drafting them. Under the present circumstances, there is no possibility of a single major party inaugurating a new constitution even if with minority party support. A new constitution requires a two thirds majority in Parliament at least as the first hurdle. more..

Petition against Ranil’s MP seat postponed to Feb 26

Feb 12 (AD) Preliminary objections have been raised against the petition which seeks Quo Warranto preventing Ranil Wickremesinghe from being a MP. The petition was taken up before the Court of Appeal judge bench consisting of Justices Shiran Gunaratne and Priyantha Fernando today. The attorneys representing the respondents of the case, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, UNP Secretary General Minister Akila Viraj more..

32 politicos made money through underworld links

Feb 12 (DM) The Bribery Commission which is investigating 400 complaints received against politicians and govt officials said they had gathered assets through various malpractices or through links with the underworld. A top officer of the Bribery Commission said there were 32 politicians among them. He said the govt officials can own assets and properties but they are bound by law to reveal the sources of income or assets. He also said such officials should send reports annually to more..

Rajitha opens Dialysis Unit at Pottuvil BH

Feb 12 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne, at a public meeting, after inaugurating new Health Care Building Complex and opening of New Dialysis Unit at Pottuvil Base Hospital, has said that his Ministry has spent a colossal sums of money for the development of health facilities in the North and East, compared to the other provinces in the Island. Minister Senaratne, who was accompanied by State Minster Faizal Cassim, MP Chathura Senaratna and MP for District A.L.M. Nazeer, more..

GMOA writes to Prez over milk powder issue

Feb 12 (CT) In the wake of Dy Minister Buddhika Pathirana’s revelations regarding imported milk powder, GMOA urged the President to probe the truth behind the Dy Minister’s revelation. In a letter addressed to Prez Sirisena, GMOA said that a guarantee should be given to the public regarding the quality of the milk they consume. The reassurance should be similar to that, which was given by Speaker that the 225 MPs were more..

Madush arrested in Dubai - Don't act like children to get the credit: Appuhamy

Feb 12 (DM) One should not act as children do and claim credit for the arrest of Makandura Madush but should come together and bust the whole racket, UNP MP Hector Appuharmy said today. He said that the UNP would fully back the eradication of narcotics. “We will support all efforts to bust Madush’s drug trafficking network but we should not act like children, make public statements and claim credit for his arrest. We should make a collective effort to eradicate all social evils” he said more..

First-ever Asian elephant distribution map in Sri Lanka

Feb 12 (CT) A local study has presented the first evidence-based distribution map of Asian elephants for a range State. The study published in Oryx — The International Journal of Conservation, titled First countrywide distribution survey of the endangered Asian elephant: Towards better elephant conservation and management in Sri Lanka, was authored by Prithiviraj Fernando and co-authors from the Centre for Conservation and Research in Sri Lanka. more..

SL have more than just pace to fret over

Feb 12 (CI) South Africa are playing at their least-favourite venue on home soil, on a pitch that can often take significant turn, but so beleaguered are the opposition, that none of that may matter. Under better circumstances, Sri Lanka would go into a Kingsmead Test feeling they have a decent chance. If they had the experience of Angelo Mathews in their middle order, and their first-choice seam attack on tour, there could've been more..

Dayasiri hospitalized over sudden illness

Feb 12 (AD) SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara has been hospitalized following a sudden illness. MP has been admitted to the Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital over a sudden heart attack, stated the Hospital’s Deputy Director Dr. Prabath Werawatte. Following initial treatments, MP Jayasekara is currently receiving treatment at the Emergency Care Unit of the hospital, according to Werawatte. However, the condition of the parliamentarian is not critical, he further said. more..

Pakistan maritime conference begins on Monday

Feb 12 (Island) The three-day International Maritime Conference organized on the theme of Global Geopolitics in Transition: Rethinking Maritime Dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region under the auspices of National Institute of Maritime Affairs commenced on Monday (11). Pakistan Navy issued the following statement via Pakistan High Commisison in Colombo: "The President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi graced the Opening Session as chief guest. more..

Gamini Senarath’s case: Witness statement recording concluded

Feb 12 (AD) The prosecution in the case, filed against former President’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath and three others for allegedly misappropriating Rs 500 million in funds belonging to Litro Gas, has concluded recording witness statements. The case was taken up before the Permanent High Court of Trial-at-Bar Judges Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne, and Champa Janaki Rajaratne today. more..

Ex- LTTE cadre, his son assaulted

Feb 12 (Island) Unidentified men stormed the house of a rehabilitated LTTE cadre in Visvamadu in Mullaitivu, and assaulted him before fleeing. The victim upon his return after rehabilitation had engaged in political work. He was attacked with clubs. His son who rushed to save him, was also assaulted. The vicitms have said they cannot recognise their assailants. Former LTTE cadre is being treated at the Mullaitivu hospital. Viswamadu police are conducting investigations. more..

Rajitha blames GMOA for drug shortage

Feb 12 (CT) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne on 10 Feb blamed the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) for the islandwide drug shortage at the Govt hospitals. The Minister, addressing a foundation stone-laying ceremony at the Pottuvil Base Hospital, alleged that the GMOA is partially responsible for the drug shortage as they had not informed about it to the Health Minister of the Govt which was appointed on 26 October 2018 and lasted for 56 days. more..

Video: Expanding private schools: Bandula tells Prez to suspend cabinet paper

Feb 12 (DM) Former education minister Bandula Gunawardane urged Prez Sirisena to suspend the cabinet paper allowing private schools to expand its network by setting up more branches. Cabinet paper, submitted by Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, states that there are 80 govt approved private schools under the purview of the ministry and that in the event an approved private school seeks permission to more..

Foreign ministry gags SL embassy in UAE from divulging information on Madush arrest

Feb 12 (CT) Sri Lankan officials at both the SL embassy and consulate general in the UAE have been barred from speaking on the arrest and detention of Makandure Madush who is currently being held in Dubai. Madush’s toxicology reports had showed that he and nearly 25 others had various drugs ranging from cocaine to heroin in their blood, when they were arrested at a lavish birthday he had thrown for his son on Monday. Only 5 individuals have been cleared. more..

'Electricity connections a human right for all'

Feb 12 (CT) Any person can now get an electricity connection from the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), regardless of the ownership of their property, added Minister of Power, Energy and Business Development Ravi Karunanayake yesterday (11). He was addressing the media at the Western Province Governor’s office after a meeting with the Governor Azath Salley. “I’d like to remind all citizens that any person living in a house can get an electricity connection from the CEB. more..

No non-SLPP Presidential candidate: Basil

Feb 12 (FT) SLPP national organiser Basil Rajapaksa said Party members will not support anyone outside the party as a Presidential candidate under any circumstance, and the candidate would have to contest under the Party’s flower bud symbol. Rajapaksa expressed these views during a meeting held at Party headquarters between Gampaha District Local Govt members of SLPP. SLPP commenced a series of meetings more..