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Chinese delegation due here on 22-25 Feb

Feb 22 (CT) A delegation from China, is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka from 22 to 25 February, for further discussions on bilateral economic cooperation. The delegation will be led by the Director General, of China's National Development and Reforms Commission Department. The visit follows closely on the heels of Minister G.L. Peiris' official visit to Beijing, where both sides discussed the establishment of a 21st Century Maritime Silk Route Economic Belt with the aim of integrating more..

CTU says Students need counselling not military discipline

Feb 22 (CT) School children need proper counselling, but when they are given military treatment instead, it could result in fatalities, the Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU) said. Speaking about the death of a 16-year-old student, who committed suicide recently after being chastised in public by her school principal, CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin, pointed out that harsh treatment on the principal's part in reprimanding and embarrassing the student in front of her more..

Supreme Court overrules Appeals Court writ against CJ impeachment

Feb 22 (FT) The Govt got one step closer to legalising the sacking of Chief Justice 43 Shirani Bandaranayake when the Supreme Court yesterday overturned a Court of Appeal writ that quashed the findings of a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) that probed impeachment charges brought against her. Five-Judge divisional bench of the SC ruled that while the Court of Appeal had exclusive jurisdiction over issuing writs, more..

Time to move towards ‘inclusive growth’

Feb 22 (DM) Economic growth is the buzzword that has come to epitomize post-war Sri Lanka. It should correctly be so for a country coming out of a 30-year war that saw the large scale destruction of human resources and property. So the focus should no doubt be on economic growth. But whether such economic growth is spread out in an equal manner across all social classes is a question that is being raised. Many would say that only a few, amounting to about 5% of the population, more..

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s biggest mission to forge unity in the UNP

Feb 22 (DM) UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe was this week appointed to the LC thrusting him into the centre of the long festering leadership crisis in the party that has been continuing for the past few years. Rajapakshe fills the slot that was originally assigned to MP Thalatha Atukorale. Atukorale, the sister of former UNP General Secretary Gamini Atukorale and a Sajith Premadasa loyalist refused to accept her position in the Council despite being nominated several months ago. more..

'Ranil scared of Ravi'

Feb 22 (CT) Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil said the senior hierarchy in the UNP feels that MP Ravi Karunanayake has taken the Party leadership under his custody and many will say that National Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is scared of Ravi Karunanayake. Q: Why do you think the UNP denied nominations to your wife, Feroza? A: I'm really surprised as to why the UNP rejected her nomination. more..

Bribery commission in question!

Feb 22 (SL) Eyebrows have been raised as to how the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption is covering up suppressing bribery and corruption charges against those who hold high posts in the govt including the ruling party politicians. The Bribery Commission has to be an independent body that is filtered by justification which cannot be messed up by any visible or invisible force and has to work more..

Foreign Service fiasco: A crime against the country

Feb 22 (ST) Some centuries ago, had a head of State defeated an enemy such as the LTTE and saved a country from being separated, he would have been hailed as the king of the country, for the historic achievement. Our President was re-elected for a second term as a just reward, and Parliament allowed him to change the Constitution to enable him to contest for a third term if he wished to do so. Parliament also allowed him to more..

Polls related complaints: NGOs receive 251, police 17!

Feb 22 (Island) Local election monitoring organisation, CaFFE said that it had received 251 election related complaints by Feb. 20, while the police said they had recorded only 17 complaints regarding incidents in the run-up to the PC elections. The highest number of complaints has been received from the Colombo District 74, followed by Kalutara 39, Hambantota 28, Gampaha 27, Matara 24 and Galle 22. more..

UNSG commends Lanka for hosting World Conference on Youth 2014

Feb 22 (Island) The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended Sri Lanka’s initiative to host the World Conference on Youth (WCY) in May 2014- the first ever global youth conference in Asia. The WCY will seek to mainstream youth concerns in the post-2015 development agenda. He made the remarks when a Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister Dullas Alahapperuma called on him at the UN Headquarters in New York more..

President Karzai leaves for Sri Lanka on three-day official visit

Feb 22 (CT) The ministry of foreign affairs of Sri Lanka announced Friday that the Afghan president Hamid Karzai will arrive to Sri Lanka on a three-day visit on Sunday. President Karzai will meet with his Sri Lankan counterpart President Rajapaksa and other top govt officials. The officials further added that President Hamid Karzai's visit to Sri Lanka is aimed at further strengthening the bilateral relations between the two nations. more..

New tax concessions for integrated resorts

Feb 22 (DM) The Cabinet of Ministers of Sri Lanka once again appears to have approved investment concessions for three super luxury integrated resort projects, the recent gazette notification published showed. “The approval of Cabinet of Ministers has been obtained in terms of Sub-section (3) of Section 3 to declare the project as a Strategic Development Project and such a project attracts strategic importance and more..

India bans ‘No Fire Zone’ film

Feb 22 (CG) The controversial documentary ‘No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka; has been refused a censor certificate for release in theaters by the Indian Central Board of Film Certification. In response, Callum Macrae, the documentary’s director has decided to make it available free online in India. Film will also be available free in Malaysia, Nepal and Sri Lanka, other countries where screening of more..

Video: SF says war was almost lost

Feb 22 (CG) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka says the army almost lost the war against the LTTE as a result of a temporary ceasefire announced in January 2009. Fonseka said that some 500 soldiers were killed when the LTTE launched an attack on Jan 31, 2009 after a temporary ceasefire had been announced. Speaking at an election rally in Keselwatta, Fonseka, who commanded the army in 2009, said that more..

Govt orders drafting of National Wage Policy!

Feb 22 (Island) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara in consultation with President Rajapaksa had directed the new National Pay Commission Secretary Bandula Wijeratne to establish a National Wage Policy, GMOA said. GMOA General Committee member Dr. Navin de Soyza said that the main objective of the wage policy was to rectify anomalies and discrepancies in the salaries of govt, semi-govt and private more..

Reining in police brutality

Feb 22 (CT) The public perception of the Sri Lankan police has never been good. According to the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) 2013 of Transparency International, 64 per cent of Sri Lankans viewed local police as corrupt or extremely corrupt. (Political parties came to a close second with 51 per cent of Sri Lankans believing them as corrupt) However, the conduct of the cops does not help redeem the blighted image of the local police service. Police are regularly charged more..

Nasty battle between Tobacco Control and Industry Interference

Feb 22 (DM) Although fast food, alcohol and television are yet to be widely recognised as clear health hazards, tobacco has definitely passed that stage. Nobody anymore argues that tobacco poses serious harm to people’s health. Tobacco kills one of two users, when used as advised by the manufacturer. No other product causes death to that extent, although fast food, alcohol and television are close competitors. However, the tobacco industry is still allowed to manufacture, more..

'We don’t act on rumours'

Feb 22 (CT) Minister Champika Ranawaka, said in an interview, the children of Prime Minister, D.M. Jayaratne, had met Omalpe Sobhitha Thera and apologized. "The chief incumbent of the Ramanna Nikaya has met both parties and discussed the issue. We are prepared to file the case, but our leader, Sobhitha Thera, will decide what action should be taken," he added. Q: Why has the UPFA given so much prominence to your party in this Provincial Council election? more..

Flooding Kotte to Save Colombo?

Feb 22 (Island) I recently spoke to an economist appointed by the UNP as its Kotte organiser. I thought, being a non resident of Kotte, he was not familiar with the real problems of Kotte such as floods drainage, garbage, pollution etc. The economist gave me clear account of how the World Bank had proposed to help prevent flooding, which I believe was part of the of the USD 213 million loan under a project now well known as MCUDP. It was embarrassing for me to disagree with proposed solutions more..

The forked international tongue

Feb 22 (SL) They say death is the great equalizer, but, apparently, not according to the International Community that is pushing for an international inquiry into alleged crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka. This island nation, which is still reeling from the effects of the armed conflict which raged on from 1983 to 2009, is now slowly trying to rebuild its tattered social fabric and move in the direction of sustained peace through realization and reconciliation. more..

Fishing in troubled waters

Feb 22 (CT) The next four weeks will be crucial for the fishing community in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, as a moratorium on destructive fishing methods of bottom trawling and double trawling in the Palk Bay between Sri Lanka and India started. The Indian side agreed to a month-long moratorium as part of a formula to address the contentious issue of bilateral fishing rights. That was the main takeaway of the first round of talks convened on Chief Minister more..

To little Sir, our President after the next president

Feb 22 (CT) Dear Mr. Namal Rajapaksa, The son of our honorable president, The Honorable the President after the next Honorable president, Little Sir, your very sight is an immense pleasure to me, I am a Sinhala Buddhist person who has been silently watching your decidedly Buddhist activities as the prince regent of our beloved country, the greatest country in the world. Last week I saw you speaking at an election rally making some brilliant arguments against Geneva. more..

Recasting of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service

Feb 22 (CT) The article below written over 34 years ago but never published, is now being made public in CT in view of its topicality. A few might have wished that the SLAS was not created in the first instance. When the writer discussed with a senior Civil Servant he said that in the early fifties, JR Jayewardene desired to see the Civil Service and the Administrative Service co-exist. Some appreciate the survival capacity of the SLAS for 50 years and more. more..

UNP candidate arrested over armed robbery

Feb 22 (AD) UNP WPC candidate Royce Fernando has been arrested in connection with an armed robbery which had taken place in Negombo on Monday, police said today. Around Rs 85,000 in cash found in the possession of the suspect has also been taken into custody. Two armed had stormed into a jewelry store, which also offers currency exchange, located on Mahaweediya in Negombo on Feb 17 and escaped with local and foreign currency worth around Rs 10 million. more..

Dr. Jayalath’s son accuses UPFA candidates of bribing voters

Feb 22 (Island) UNP Ja-Ela electoral organiser in the Gampaha District for the forthcoming WPC elections Dr. Kavinda Jayawardana has accused certain UPFA candidates of bribing the voters by distributing mobile phones, galvanised sheets and concrete blocks and even the Women’s Organisations with sewing machines, baby chicks and various other items. Addressing a rally, he said that the voters had been threatened that unless they cast their votes for the UPFA they would not receive more..

U-19 World Cup: Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 121 runs

Feb 22 (TN) Sami Aslam and Imam-ul-Haq paved the way for Pakistan to advance to the Under 19 World Cup semi-finals at the expense of Sri Lanka at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.Pakistan’s in-form opening duo put on 177 for the first wicket to lay the platform for an imposing total of 279 in their quarter-final. Imam’s innings of 82 extended his lead at the top of the run-scoring charts in this competition, while Aslam, Pakistan’s captain, moved into third with his knock of 95. more..

Sri Lanka complete whitewash after Kusal ton

Feb 22 (CI) With Sri Lanka missing their three senior batsmen, the dead rubber was supposed to be a big test for the younger set. They came through, with Kusal Perera hitting his maiden international century and Dinesh Chandimal finding form to guide Sri Lanka home and complete the 3-0 whitewash. There was disbelief at Kusal's strike-rate when he reached his third ODI fifty at the end of the 25th over. Sri Lanka still needed 138 runs at the halfway mark more..

Online test for Lankans aspiring S. Korean jobs for second term

Feb 22 (DN) Sri Lankan youth who aspire for jobs in South Korea for a second term after completing the first one, will have to face an online test to determine their language ability and knowledge in the future. Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Chairman Amal Senalankadikara said the online test will be compulsory for those who want to migrate to South Korea for jobs for a second term in the future. The chairman said so at the opening of a Korean Language Examination Centre more..

Sri Lankan media hails SC decision on Rajiv case convicts

Feb 22 (PTI) The Indian Supreme Court’s decision to stop Tamil Nadu from releasing seven persons convicted in the 1991 assassination of former premier Rajiv Gandhi is a slap in the face of separatist elements in this country, the Sri Lankan media said on Saturday. Praising the court’s decision, Sinhala daily Rivira said in an editorial, “Rajiv Gandhi challenged Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, his support to LTTE left a bad taste among the Sri Lankans. more..

Bomb scare letter from student ‘forged’ – Police

Feb 22 (AD) Puttalam Police have launched an investigation into a “forged letter” alleging a plot to detonate a bomb at a ceremony to be attended by the President. President Rajapaksa is scheduled to declare open a science lab at the Zahira Muslim Madya Maha Vidyalaya, Puttalam on Sunday (23). A letter sent to the Inspector at the Puttalam Police Headquarters on Friday alleges of a plot to detonate a bomb during the ceremony at the school. more..

Nasir's hat-trick, Anamul's non-appeal

Feb 22 (CI) Of all the fielders in the Bangladesh team, Nasir Hossain has dropped one catch each in the three ODIs against Sri Lanka. On Saturday he spilled a chance at point, a difficult one diving forward. In the first match he spilled the chance at long-on while in the second game, he dropped one running in from deep square-leg. The batsmen who profited were Thisara Perera, Ashan Priyanjan and Lahiru Thirimanne, the last of whom couldn't capitalise on the chance offered. more..

Dengue leaps ahead of last year

Feb 22 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council yesterday warned that there was the possibility of an increase in the incidence of dengue if intermittent showers continued within the next few days. Chief of the Public Health Department, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that 175 dengue cases had been reported in the city within the first 20 days of this month. He said that the number was 12 percent higher than that reported last year. more..

'Kusal showed maturity today'

Feb 22 (CI) Kusal Perera's well-paced maiden ODI century helped Sri Lanka clinch the ODI series 3-0 and Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said the opener had shown maturity to set up the win in the absence of the team's senior players. "Kusal Perera showed lot of maturity today," Mathews said. "We didn't have senior guys and someone had to step up. I am glad that he and Dinesh Chadimal did. He doesn't change his game, at any point. We have always told him to more..

PC Elections 2014: Disabled can get permit for special transport

Feb 22 (Island) Elections Department yesterday announced that physically disabled persons in need of special transport facilities to exercise their franchise at the March 29 Provincial Council elections would have make requests to Returning Officers before March 12. Any person who was unable by reason of any physical disability to convey himself to and from the Polling Station on foot or by a service provided by the Sri Lanka Transport Board or by a Regional Transport Board or more..

JVP’s ‘Our Vision presented to religious leaders

Feb 22 (LT) Our Vision’, the policy framework of the JVP that was unanimously adopted at the 7th National Convention of the party held on the 2nd February, 2014 has been presented to religious leaders in Anuradhapura. Accordingly, ‘Our Vision’ was presented to Atamasthanadipathi and Sanganayaka of Northern & Central Provinces Venerable Pallegama Siriniwasa Thero, The Chief Incumbent of Mihinthala Raja Maha Vihara Venerable Valahahangunawawe Dhammarathana Thero more..

Karunaratne, Tharanga tons secure draw

Feb 22 (CI) There was no Dambulla dustbowl on the final day and the only deterioration was on the forehead of England Lions captain Chris Woakes, left to shrug his shoulders as his side toiled away on a dead wicket. But they have secured at least a draw from this series, which heads to its final leg in Colombo. Throughout the match, the wicket here - the flattest of the tour - has dominated, save for the first afternoon where Sri Lanka A played carelessly more..

Minister Bandula's tactic to save son

Feb 22 (SM) Minister Bandula Gunawardena has intimidated the Deputy Commissioner of Motor Traffic in a bid to obtain a driving license for his son issued at an earlier date, reports say. After this request was made yesterday, the deputy commissioner Mr. Bandu Keerthi has briefed the minister on the usual procedure that needed to be followed to obtain a driving license. However, the minister has continued to intimidate the deputy commissioner, who, unable to do his duty, more..

SriLankan Airlines relief flight for 240 stranded passengers in Frankfurt

Feb 22 (LR) SriLankan Airlines will send a relief flight on Sunday to Frankfurt for 240 passengers stranded due to an airport labour disruption. The passengers were stranded on Friday when SriLankan airlines flight UL554 was forced to depart the airport without 240 passengers. All airlines operating out of terminal 2 were asked to depart without boarding passengers on Friday following a strike by security workers. Sunday’s relief flight will operate from London to Colombo more..

Opportunity for Wanni, Eastern females to join SL Army as volunteers

Feb 22 (AD) The Sri Lanka Army has provided another opportunity to females from the Wanni and the East to serve in the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force. Accordingly 100 females from Killinochchi and 50 from the Eastern Province would be recruited to the Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps. Recruitment begun recently and there is a very positive response from the public. Upon basic training the recruits will be employed in their own areas mainly for more..

Give Lanka a fair hearing

Feb 23 (SO) The majority of the Tamil Diaspora in Canada are die-hard supporters of the now defunct LTTE terrorist outfit and are still under the delusion of the dream separate state projected by the late LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Although the LTTE was militarily defeated and its leadership vanquished almost five years ago, the LTTE rump continues to live in the fantasy world created by Prabhakaran. At the height of LTTE terror, Canada readily offered political asylum to more..