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Denied visiting rights on Independence Day: Prisoner’s wife complains to HRCSL

Feb 15 (CT) The wife of a key witness to the 2012 Welikada Prison incident has filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) regarding the deprivation of her right to visit her husband at the Magazine Prison in Colombo, during the open visit allowed in connection with Independence Day. Prisoner Senarath Bandula Liyanarachchi's wife Shamila Bueque lodged the complaint on 6 February. Liyanarachchi was transferred from the Anuradhapura Prison more..

CID team sent to arrest Udayanga comes back empty handed

Feb 15 (FT) Teams which travelled to Dubai to arrest wanted former diplomat Udayanga Weeratunga returned to the country empty handed on 13 Feb. He has been evading a warrant of arrest, issued in 2016 in relation to investigations pertaining to alleged embezzlement of public funds to the tune of $ 7.833 million, with regard to the now-infamous MiG procurement deal. However, both teams that went to the UAE to arrest more..

Myliddy fishery harbour revived under reconciliation initiative

Feb 15 (Island) In the 1980’s Myliddy Fisheries Harbour in Jaffna, was one of the major fishery habours that contributed significantly to the fisheries sector, Secretary Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation, V. Sivagnanasothy said. During the war, Myliddy fisheries harbour. had became non-functional and was under the custody of Defence Authority since 1990. "Myliddy is in Northern Province in Tellippali DS Division in Valikamam area and described as a typical fishing village. more..

Sports Ministry ruling proves Wrestling Association illegal

Feb 15 (CT) A fresh controversy leading up to the National Olympic Committee AGM has come to light, where at an inquiry conducted by the Sports Ministry it clearly indicated that the appointment of Prageeth Perera as the President of the National Wrestling Association is illegal. Perera and Chaminda Mallawarachchi were elected President and Secretary of the National Wrestling Association. They were nominated for the posts by the Colombo District Wrestling Federation. more..

Seeking dissolution of Parliament TU leaders threaten strikes

Feb 15 (CT) Sri Lanka's trade union leaders yesterday, threatened to stage crippling countrywide strikes if the Govt does not dissolve Parliament immediately and go for a General Election. "We are intimating that the Govt should dissolve Parliament and hold fresh elections or we will push the Govt into a corner where they will be forced to go for an election, JO MP Gamini Lokuge said, on the sidelines of a news conference. more..

‘Inflation at moderate level, foreign reserve to be above US$ 7 bn’

Feb 15 (DN) First Capital Research (FCR) believes inflation rate to moderate, foreign reserve position to be maintained above US$ 7 billion levels. FCR also expects the improvement in credit growth and likely increase in GDP growth in 2018E. Consideration of above favourable macroeconomic environment, FC research says current monetary policy is appropriate and no change is required. GDP growth for 3Q 2017 was lower than expected, grew by 3.3% YoY in the with overall agricultural activities more..

India Textile Expo 2018 from 21-23 Feb

Feb 15 (CT) IIT Expo-Colombo 2018, a 3-day event, showcasing the Incredible Textiles of India, is being held from 21-23 Feb, at the Grand Ballroom, Galadari Hotel, Colombo. More than 40 Indian Fabric manufacturers and exporters will display varieties of apparel fabrics (woven, knitted and non-woven), Made-ups, Home Textiles and Traditional items in various blends, textures, colours and designs from various clusters of India. Namely: TN (Erode, Salem, Karur, Coimbatore), more..

Govt revenue from cigarettes dips by Rs. 18b

Feb 15 (EN) Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) said that its contribution to govt revenue, through excise, taxes and levies, fell to Rs. 117.3 billion during the year ending 31 Dec 2017, compared with the Rs. 135 billion targeted. The dip in its contribution to the state’s coffers is the result of the legal cigarette prices shooting up by 43% following the tobacco excise hike and introduction of 15% VAT during the last quarter of 2016. more..

COMBANK sets new digital banking record with Rs. 663 b in transactions

Feb 15 (FT) A whopping Rs. 662.95 billion was transacted through digital banking channels alone, by customers of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon in 2017. This is the highest value the bank has handled digitally in a single year since the launch of its mobile and online banking platforms, which make up its anytime, anywhere digital banking offering. The remarkable growth in the use of these channels was reflected in an increase of 31.31% in digital transaction values, and more..

Fonterra surpasses Rs. 3 billion investment mark in Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (Island) Fonterra Brands SL, dairy co-operative behind Anchor, recently surpassed the Rs. 3 billion investment-mark in its commitment to building a thriving local dairy industry and boosting the availability of high quality, local dairy nutrition for Sri Lankans. These long-term initiatives span the breadth of the dairy value chain with the local dairy farmer at its centre. From providing thousands of local farmer families with support to uplift milk productivity and milk quality, more..

Tea industry unites to call for lifting of glyphosate ban or viable alternative

Feb 15 (FT) Tea industry stakeholders including SL Tea Board Chairman Rohan Pethiyagoda have called on policy makers to urgently re-evaluate the arbitrary ban imposed on glyphosate-based weedicides in light of overwhelming scientific consensus that substance is not harmful to human health, most recently confirmed by Risk Assessment for Glyphosate conducted by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Dec 2017. more..

Thilina on screening of elite athletes and their management

Feb 15 (Island) Australia-based sports physiotherapist and fitness trainer Thilina Vitharana recently screened national players of many sports, particularly national track and field athletes, at NISS using the latest technology in conjunction with his vast experience in sports physiotherapy and rehabilitation.This year, it is particularly aimed at players involved in jumping and landing sports where if not managed properly, recurrent injuries is a real possibility due to the dynamics involved more..

Nilani sets new SL record in golden run

Feb 15 (CT) Nilani Rathnayake won the Gold medal in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 9 minutes 55.59 seconds, which was also a new Sri Lanka record, at the Road to Asian Games 2018 test event continued at Jakarta yesterday. It was a remarkable feat by Rathnayake as she renewed her own Sri Lankan record and became first Sri Lankan to go below the 10-minute mark in the event. Trained under Coach Sajith Jayalal, Nilani has been in prime form in the event recently. more..

SLC contracts 104 domestic cricketers

Feb 15 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket handed over annual domestic contracts for 104 players, a move to encourage talented cricketers to continue playing the game thus ensuring that the domestic cricketing structure remains strong. Accordingly, players who took part in the Major Tournament 2016/2017 and the U-19 players, who represented SL in the Asia Cup and World Cup were handed over contracts, more..

Dhaka pitch rated as below average

Feb 15 (Island) ICC rated the Dhaka Test pitch for the second Test between B'desh and SL as below average and, as such, it has received one demerit point according to the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process. ICC Match Referee David Boon, whose report has been forwarded to B'desh Cricket Board, said, "From day one, there was evidence of the ball breaking the pitch surface, which resulted in uneven bounce throughout the match, along with inconsistent turn, more..

One belt one road: Unique opportunity for SL

Feb 15 (CT) President Xi Jinping's One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, also known as the Belt and Road, unveiled in 2013, provides SL with a unique opportunity to fast-track its economy along the path to development. An investment bonanza that is being made available under the OBOR (Also referred to as the Belt and Road) initiative, especially the Maritime Silk Road, could revive the glory days of the ancient Silk Route for SL. Today, SL economy is not progressing as it should. more..

Dhammika Perera picks up last of world’s 50 Bentley Mulsanne Hallmarks

Feb 15 (FT) Dhammika Perera, as the richest business leader in Sri Lanka, has taken delivery of his prized - and perhaps the first in the South and Southeast Asia or the Middle East - Bentley Mulsanne Hallmark, worth around Rs. 160 million, inclusive of import duty. The car, the single most expensive sedan in the world, is inspired by precious metals and luxurious materials used by renowned master jewellers. more..

Losers’ sour grapes; an oblique warning to the winners

Feb 15 (Island) It is all over, bar the shouting. The people of this resplendent isle have given their considered verdict at the LG elections. It is a wave that has spread virtually through the entire country and taken everybody by surprise. There was no coercion, no major promotional endeavours, no cutouts or posters, no false promises and no shouting from the rooftops. The people have, though very quietly and on their own, provided a telling blow to the current Yahapalanaya administration. more..

Did Mahinda lose a Presidential Election and Pohottuwa, a general election, on Feb. 10?

Feb 15 (Island) I am sorry, but I just don't get it. I thought what we had was a LG election, specifically for the purpose of deciding which parties assumed control of those local, grassroots, area-based institutions depending on the number of members elected. The electoral results shown on the map of Sri Lanka by the media indicating the administrative areas gained (which is what it was all about), was awash in deep maroon, the designated colour of the new SLPP covering most of its territory, more..

Udaya Gammanpila

Editorial: Post-polls blues

Feb 15 (Island) Election monitors say there have been a significant number of incidents of post-election violence in different parts of the country. Some members of the SLPP, which emerged victorious at Saturday’s LG polls, are alleged to have been involved therein. SLPP must take serious notice of these complaints. True, thankfully, there have been no large-scale, organised attacks, but it is unfortunate that at least some of the SLPP candidates & their backers have got involved more..

Brain drain Vs brain gain

Feb 15 (DN) None of the election agendas have foreseen the danger of brain drain in Sri Lanka. There is no single parliamentarian who came up with sustainable solution until to date to the brain drain silently happening in Sri Lanka. Time need to decide whether we need parliamentarians with at least the basic degree with a value system. The need of the hour is to make a future for the children in Sri Lanka. The future of Sri Lanka is uncertain for the future generation. more..

Sri Lanka: A family torn apart for nearly three decades is reunited

Feb 15 (ICRC) Countless people die during an armed conflict. Many are separated from their families and loved ones. There are others who go missing. The armed conflict in SL between Govt & LTTE separated families. Mr Periyasamy Ramaiah never thought his family would be torn in two. Almost three decades later, when he had started to believe he would die before his family was reunited, seemingly impossible happened. more..

70 Years of Independence | Dr Chandraguptha Thenuwara

Feb 15 (GV) What does it mean to be Sri Lankan? 70 years after independence, our identity is defined mostly along majoritarian lines, which can be traced back to the divisions created under British rule. These divisions have contributed to violence and war, in the years since 1948. To this day, there are communities who feel that what is commonly projected and defined as the SL identity does not reflect their reality, or themselves. Looking at this, Groundviews produced more..

Britain’s love for the LTTE

Feb 15 (CT) When a foreign delegate lands in SL, the TNA wastes no time in lamenting to them about the delay in installing the new Constitution. When Prince Edward, the Earl of Essex, came on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II for the 70th Independence celebrations, it was no different. TNA spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran whined about the snail's pace at which the problems of our people are being sorted by the lethargic govt. Prince Edward listened very patiently before responding that more..

Dharmasena Pathiraja: A legacy unparalleled

Feb 15 (CT) Dr. Dharmasena Pathiraja's trailblazing career in Sri Lankan cinema marks one of the most decisive stages in the evolution of the Sri Lankan cinema. His cinematic practice was revolutionary in many ways in his lifetime which ended recently. He would be remembered best for not only being a revolutionary and pioneering filmmaker, who virtually redefined the political cinema of the country but also as an activist and patriarch who more..

What would Lee Kuan Yew do?

Feb 15 (CT) This was Lee Kuan Yew breaking up a Singapore Airlines strike in 1980. His tactics were unconventional. But they were effective. He threatened to shut the airline down and in 65 minutes the pilots relented. Ranil Wickremesinghe needs to show that he has that iron in him. What does that look like? Let’s start with SriLankan Airlines. First, convict. Thanks to the Weliamuna Report we know the corrupt officials. But enough with inquiries. Start criminal proceedings. more..

Sense and Sensibility

Feb 15 (CT) The coalition forces led by the late most Rev Sobitha Thero did exactly what former President did at the recent election during the run up to the 2015 election. They lucidly marketed the negatives of the former strongman but mostly created hope amongst the electorate of better times. Three years down the road without the late Rev Sobitha, the coalition lost it’s sails and meandered along forgetting the aspirations they themselves created. Yahapalanaya govt did have more..

President's party seeks shot at govt

Feb 14 (EN) President's UPFA which was decimated at recent local election has said it wants to topple PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and form a new administration. UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said that he wrote Sirisena claiming that they had a majority in the 225-member assembly to form a new govt. Amaraweera said he was assured that the Rajapaksa faction, which contested the August 2015 elections under more..

New LG members to assume duties on Mar 6

Feb 14 (AD) The 8,325 newly-elected members for the 340 local govt bodies countrywide would assume duties in their respective local bodies on March 6. According to the Provincial Councils and Local Government Ministry, the gazette notification in this regard will be handed over to the Govt Printer tomorrow. Meanwhile the Elections Commission will inform the respective political parties in writing on the number of elected members for the respective local govt institution in due course. more..

I would rather trust Ranil's one word over seven papers signed by Sirisena: MR

Feb 14 (AM) Former President Rajapaksa had ridiculed a group of SLFP seniors who visited his residence to offer a truce to work together in LG bodies. "I would rather trust Ranil's one word over seven papers signed by Sirisena. I won't trust his promises," (Ranilge kata wachane mata wishwasayi, eth Sirisena kola hathaka liwwath mata wishwasa nehe) Rajapaksa had said, turning down the offer by SLFP seniors who are now in a desperate situation following the defeat at the LG election. more..

Want to carry Test series confidence forward: Tharanga

Feb 14 (CB) Twenty20 skipper Upul Tharanga said that they will carry forward the confidence gathered during the just concluded Test series and the tri-nation series, into the two-match T20I series against Bangladesh. Bangladesh were defeated by the visitors in both the Test and tri-nation series and will eye the T20Is to salvage some pride. "We have done well so far in ODI tournament & Test series also, so we have confidence," more..

Polls monitor blames lax post-election policing for violence

Feb 14 (Island) Post-election violence kept rising, polls monitor, Manjula Gajanayake, the National Coordinator of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) says. He warned there might be serious incidents of political violence in the coming days. "The pre-election and election periods were peaceful as the police did an excellent job in maintaining law and order. However, it seems that the police have lost the grip," the monitor said. He said the number of victory parades more..

NGO monitors complain of organised attempt to harass defeated female candidates

Feb 14 (Island) A systematic country wide campaign is being carried out to demoralise female candidates who lost at the February 10 LG election, polls monitors claimed yesterday adding that it would have an adverse impact on future female political representation. National Coordinator of Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), Manjula Gajanayake said they had received a significant number of complaints that organised groups were harassing defeated female candidates. more..

Medicos’ parents agree on solution

Feb 14 (Island) Parents’ Union of Medical Students (PUMS) said it had agreed that students from the Medical School of the SAITM should be awarded a MBBS degree which was recognized by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). PUMS Executive Committee Member and Media Coordinator, Wasantha Alwis said the parents of state medical faculty students as well as parents of SAITM Medical school students wished to more..

SL eye tour sweep against injury-hit B'desh

Feb 14 (CI) Last year, playing in Sri Lanka, there had been nothing to separate these teams. The Tests, ODIs and T20Is were all shared 1-1, and Bangladesh left Sri Lanka having perhaps enjoyed their best-ever away tour. Now, disappointingly for the hosts, they have not been able to capitalise on the gains they had made on Sri Lanka in 2017. Sri Lanka won the tri-nation series after a wobbly start, dominated the Test series, and arrive at the T20Is now in sight of a sweep. more..