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Prez reveals why he removed Mohan Peiris

Feb 17 (DM) President Sirisena revealed, that the first action he took using his executive powers was to remove former chief justice Mohan Peiris, when he came and begged him not to remove him from his post and expressed his willingness to do anything he wanted. The president disclosed how Mohan Peiris visited him at his residence after he assumed duties on Jan 9, 2015 and promised to take action in his favour and implored him more..

'Trinco harbour economic developments appallingly slow'

Feb 17 (DN) The Trincomalee harbour in today’s strategic maritime context would be ideal for functioning as a commercial hub and as a centre for regional maritime security architecture focusing the Bay of Bengal, Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando said. Speaking at the first round of Trincomalee Consultations held in Colombo, organised by the Pathfinder Foundation, Fernando said security is an important prerequisite to economic development. more..

ONUR celebrates Thai Pongal in schools to foster national unity and reconciliation

Feb 17 (FT) In a meaningful initiative to bring the people of Sri Lanka closer together and understand each other’s diversity and different cultures, Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) celebrated the Thai Pongal festival in schools in 7 provinces; Northern, Eastern, North Western, Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central and Southern. A total of 51,706 students in 549 schools in the provinces covering 53 Zones & 112 Divisions participated in Thai Pongal celebration. more..

President requests all University Student Associations not to engage in ....

Feb 17 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena requested all Student Associations from universities not to engage in activities which disrupt their education, till solutions were provided if there is any issue,as currently the Govt is being engaged with all the relevant parties to provide a satisfactory solution to every party regarding private medical colleges.   He made these remarks during a meeting with representatives of University Student more..

Plantation Minister in Russia in major tea promotion drive

Feb 17 (DN) Plantation Minister Navin Dissanayake is currently in Russia to launch a major tea promotion campaign in the Soviet States. Minister also held discussions with Russia’s Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev on getting greater access for Ceylon tea into the Russian market. Minister said that Russia is the highest tea during nation in the world consuming over 175 million kgs per year. They also prefer black tea and also to consume loose tea (tea bags). more..

ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers: High riding Sri Lanka take on South Africa today

Feb 17 (Island) Sri Lanka will be fancying its chances against South Africa in familiar conditions at the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017 on Friday after pulling off a 5-wicket win over Pakistan in its first match in the Super Six stage, which has instilled more interest in the proceedings. A win will take Sri Lanka closer towards qualification for the Women’s World Cup in England and Wales in June, while South Africa will make it with a triumph since the result will eliminate more..

Two-match unofficial test series against England Lions today

Feb 17 (DN) Finding a successor to the great Rangana Herath will be one of the top priorities for Sri Lanka when their ‘A’ team prepares to take on the touring England Lions team in a two-match unofficial test series commencing at Pallekele International Stadium today. Master class Herath has taken on the mantle as the champion spinner for his country following the retirement of the great Muthiah Muralitharan six years ago. more..

Sweet deal for Bibile Sugar!

Feb 17 (FT) With a new Singaporean investor on board, the longstanding proposal to launch a sugar development project by Bibile Sugar Industries got the green light from the Govt this week. The project was initially proposed and approved by the Cabinet in 2006, never took off with original Chinese investor backing out. However with the entry of Singapore’s Gazelle Ventures, with local partner IMS Holdings, linked to Islandwide Marketing Services, the project was revived.  more..

SL favourites against weakened Australia

Feb 17 (Island) Struggling Sri Lanka will be relieved that they will not have to think of containing Steve Smith or David Warner or wonder about facing Mitchell Starc as all three players alongside several other Australians will not feature in the T-20 series that gets underway today at the MCG. The game stars at 2.10 p.m. Sri Lanka time. Starc, Warner and Smith are all in Bombay ahead of Australia’s four-match Test series against India that starts next Thursday. more..

No faith in the SLMC: Dr. Neville Fernando

Feb 17 (DN) The Court of Appeal issued an order on January 31 stating that medical students of the SAITM could register with the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). The Court of Appeal issued the order after a case was filed by a SAITM student. The SLMC however is yet to decide on the SAITM students who have passed the MBBS exam as Medical practitioners in accordance with the court ruling. more..

SAITM a bad idea: MFSAC

Feb 17 (DN) As the debate rages around SAITM’s place in Sri Lanka’s medical training hierarchy, students from public medical faculties are speaking up against the private institute, claiming that it threatens to decrease both the quality of the country’s public education and healthcare. Members of the Medical Faculty Students Action Committee (MFSAC) shared their concerns and noted that, since the Institute’s founding, the quality of its training has been suspect. more..

Bambalapitiya flats redevelopment project: Promoter conceals information from govt

Feb 17 (Island) In an article titled, Bambalapitiya Flats redevelopment project: Govt taken for a right royal ride? published on 3 Feb 2017, we highlighted certain concerns about the Bambalapitiya flats redevelopment project. Singapore registered company promoting this project UTL Global Projects Pte Ltd is a nominal company with no real estate or construction expertise or the financial resources to be able to take on a project of this magnitude. This company had misled the govt into more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Editorial: Rathana Thera’s karma

Feb 17 (Island) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) big guns fought quite a battle to oust President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2015. Today, they have ganged up against Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera. They say he, as a UNP National List (NL) MP, has no right to remain independent in Parliament and must resign forthwith. Interestingly, Rathana Thera as well as other JHU heavyweights endorsed defections from the Rajapaksa govt to bring the present administration to power! more..

Battle for mini hustings reaches fever pitch

Feb 17 (DN) Slowly but surely, the country is inching its way towards what could be a vital test of political popularity for the major political parties- the Local Govt elections. The polls will not alter the balance of power in Parliament but are likely to play a critical role in redefining political alliances both within the SLFP as well in the National Unity govt the SLFP has in partnership with the UNP. These elections have been due for some time now but have been postponed on the grounds that more..

'Traders have imported rice under local branding'

Feb 17 (CT) Minister Duminda Dissanayake says the SLFP is waiting to see what stance former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would take at the Local Govt elections. "We are watching to see whether he supports the SLFP or not," he said. Q: The issue regarding the new office complex for the Agriculture Ministry, surfaces from time to time in the media, and this time it is with a price tag loss of over Rs 800 million to govt. more..

Passengers ripped-off by bus crews and eateries

Feb 17 (NS) Long distance bus journeys usually involve making a pit stop for refreshment at an eatery. A video that recently went viral on Facebook exemplifies how this routine has evolved into a side business. Footage is of an argument between the owner of an eatery and bakery in Parakaduwa and a consumer who questioned the price he had to pay for two packets of milk purchased. Shop owner in question states that it is the price he has always charged; nobody else has questioned so far. more..

Deliver promises first, and then welcome refugees back!

Feb 17 (CT) The current PM Ranil Wickremsinghe’s comments on refugees reported in the news media fly in the face of facts. Despite the relaxation of the social and political environment under the new regime led by President Maithripala Sirisena and the PM, the repressive machinery and logistical approach of the governance system towards its political critics and opponents have not changed. This is evident from the incidents that have taken place in Sri Lanka recently, more..

Our National flower still embedded in muddy waters

Feb 17 (ST) The pomp and pageantry are over. The wisps of smoke from the 21 gun-salute have wafted away, carried hither and thither by the gentle winds blowing across the sea at Galle Face Green. 69th Independence Day celebrations drew to an end on Feb 4 but there is a matter of national importance still embedded in muddy waters, awaiting resolution. It is the matter of the National Flower of Sri Lanka into more..

Big brother is watching you

Feb 17 (NS) It was a scene straight out of an old spy movie. But these guys were nothing like the KGB. They were clumsy, peeping from behind trees, following people around, asking questions. They were everywhere in plain sight, spying on anyone who they pegged could behave naughtily. They were uniformed but who in their right mind would want to behave romantically with a loved one with a uniformed guard watching one’s every move. But we were made long before we were through more..

Women: Careers in local govt

Feb 17 (CT) When my mother asked me to marry my wife, I had not seen her; not even a photo of hers. She was then B.Sc., M.Sc. I said to myself, “She is obviously serious about things. She will help bring up good children.” We both said yes. We met first on a Sunday and were married by Wednesday. We have both done well. My wife did her doctorate under Nobel Laureate George Olah. But she moderated her career between being a professor, mother of 5, and wife. more..

Video: Google loon may leave Sri Lanka, corruption accusation baseless: Harin

Feb 16 (DM) Sri Lanka’s controversial Google loon pilot project may be withdrawn from the country as a result of a spectrum issue with the Int'l Telecommunication Union, minister Harin Fernando said. he said that Sri Lanka has so far delayed facilitating pilot tests by allocating the required spectrum of 700 MHz. “Google is ready, but unfortunately in SL things do not move the way that we wanted,” he said. more..

Thajudeen Murder: Ex-crimes OIC released on bail despite concealing evidence

Feb 16 (CT) Former Narahenpita Crimes OIC Sumith Perera was released on bail today by the Colombo High Court despite covering up the murder of Wasim Thajudeen. The court which released the suspect on a cash bail of Rs. 100,000 and three personal sureties of Rs. 1 million each, ordered that the ex-Crimes OIC hand over his passport to the Court. Perera was granted bail when his revision bail application was taken up today. Perera was arrested by the CID in April last year on charges that more..

JO says govt rogues gallery now contains more than ten

Feb 16 (Island) The Joint Opposition accused the CIABOC silent on their seven complaints lodged against govt ministers, including PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Kandy District MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said they lodged the eighth complaint against a government minister at the CIABOC and the CID yesterday. He said UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila complained yesterday against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake for losing Rs. 6500 million due to a car assembly facility. more..

New Constitution: JO members step down from sub committees

Feb 16 (DM) JO members including MPs Bandula Gunawardane, Keheliya Rambukwella and Tharaka Balasuriya today resigned from the Sub Committees attached to Constitutional Assembly. Mr. Gunawardane said that they officially rejected the reports produced by the 6 Sub Committees and added that they had participated in this procedure with good intention. “It has been proved that these Sub Committee reports would directly affect more..

I will stand against legalising abortion: Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith

Feb 16 (DN) Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Ranjith said that he would stand against legalising abortion, if the government intends it to introduce it as law. ‘Abortion is considered a sin. The Ten Commandments of the Holy Bible clearly states that we should not kill,’ he said. Archbishop was speaking at the Lady of Lourdes feast at the Holy Cross Church, Kalutara. Archbishop said that the church body should commit to a religious life and also help other people of different faiths. more..

Police vow stern action against unruly students

Feb 16 (DM) DIG Priyantha Jayakody said police would not hesitate to take stern action against students and supporters who violate the law during the upcoming big match season. He said police did not try to take stern action during previous traffic law violations by students and that they could not allow such incidents to happen continuously. He said students could conduct their vehicle parades but there should be a limit. If any student group or supporters violate any traffic rule more..

GMOA warns of TU action over SAITM

Feb 16 (DM) The GMOA today threatened to resort to major country-wide Trade Union (TU) action next week if the govt failed to resolve the issues regarding SAITM. GMOA Secretary Dr. Naween De Soysa said that the Health and Higher Education Ministers’ actions had forced them to take the decision. However, he said the discussions they had with the relevant authorities did not yield a positive outcome. more..

PMC parents to move court against SLMC

Feb 16 (Island) Private Medical College Parents Society Ltd said it would move court against Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) for its refusal to provide provisional registration to SAITM students after the Appeal Court gave a ruling to that effect. Secretary of the Society Anura Dhanaratne said the society would have a meeting with the Health Minister and the Justice Minister and outcome of the meeting would decide when to move court against the SLMC. more..

Sri Lanka to play Scotland in preparation for Champions Trophy

Feb 16 (CB) Sri Lanka will take on Scotland in two 50-over games ahead of the Champions Trophy in England, Cricket Scotland announced on Thursday (16). Two teams will meet on May 21 and May 23 at the County Ground in Beckenham. This will the first meeting between the two sides since the World Cup in 2015, where centuries from Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan handed Scotland a 148-run loss. Grant Bradburn, the head coach of Scotland, was understandably pleased with more..

Waters Edge breaks ground for mega sports centre

Feb 16 (AD) Situated on the outskirts of Colombo and surrounded by the tranquil waters of the Diyawanna, Waters Edge Battaramulla is known globally for its breathtaking views and plethora of restaurants that serve up gourmet cooking from around the world. It is also a preferred choice for those who desire breathtaking venues for special events that are located throughout the landscape of the property. more..

President & IUSF to discuss SAITM

Feb 16 (NR) A special discussion is scheduled to take place shortly between President Sirisena and the IUSF pertaining to the SAITM. Convenor of IUSF Lahiru Weerasekara said the federation expects to submit several proposals regarding SAITM to the President. Lahiru Weerasekara said the IUSF expects to be made aware of the govt’s stance on SAITM by President. IUSF Convenor said the federation had called for a discussion with the President on SAITM on several occasions, more..

Man fleeing from jumbo encounters ghost

Feb 16 (DM) One fine night a person was returning home alone after attending a funeral home in the village. After hearing the sound of an approaching elephant he started to shimmy up a tree in panic. While he was climbing up the tree he heard someone calling out to him from the top of the tree saying climb slowly and later felt his hand being grabbed by someone. He was so terrified by what had occurred that he rapidly descended from the tree screaming. more..

PCs to take back powers from UDA

Feb 16 (Island) Provincial Councils (PC) would introduce a controversial convention very shortly to reinstate the powers that had been removed from them by the UDA, Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya said. He said the charter would be introduced by the PCs if the Minister Champika Ranawaka did not take necessary steps to reinstate the powers taken back by the UDA within the next few days. more..

Australia will be formidable force: Tharanga

Feb 16 (CB) Upul Tharanga, stand-in SL captain, observed that despite Australia missing some of their key players for the upcoming three-match Twenty20 Int'l (T20I) series, they have enough firepower in their ranks to put up a good show. Tharanga also noted that most of the players in the Australian set-up partook in the just-concluded Big Bash League (BBL) 2016-17 and performed well. The mainstays of the Australian line-up - David Warner, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and Co. more..

Sri Lanka Navy earnings tick USD 20 m from OBST Operations

Feb 16 (SLN) SL Navy earned the national coffers over USD 20 million to-date, since taking over the duty of facilitating On-board Security Teams (OBST) 15 months ago. Duty undertaken was an extension of maritime security operations in which the Navy got actively involved in keeping our waters safe and secure for maritime commons and freedom of navigation. At the existing exchange rate, earnings amount to a staggering Rs. 3 billion, through OBST operations from mid Nov 2015. more..