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Chandimal dropped for fourth ODI

Feb 7 (WA) Misfiring batsman Dinesh Chandimal will be the sacrificial lamb as he will make way for young Sandun Weerakkody in the playing XI for om Tuesday’s fourth ODI against South Africa at the Newlands Cricket Stadium in Cape Town. South Africa lead the five-match series 3-0, having beaten Sri Lanka comprehensively in the first three matches. Though Sri Lanka cannot boast a single consistent performer in the series, more..

Powerboat training in Sri Lanka

Feb 7 (CT) Power boating is a fast, furious and glamorous international sport with a global following and the world governing body, Union Internationale Motonautique has a series of large events all over the world. Sri Lanka is an ideal new location for the sport and Lanka Powerboat Association (LPA) has been set up to promote and develop Powerboat racing in the country. LPA is developing a series of events to promote Sri Lanka on the power boating map and the sport's global circuit. more..

China won’t back down from building economic, commercial ties with Sri Lanka

Feb 7 (GT) It would not necessarily be a bad thing if healthy competition between China and India in the Sri Lankan market could be further stirred up. While China and Sri Lanka ramp up efforts to finalize a free trade agreement (FTA) this year, India is pushing for the signing of the Economic Technology Cooperation Agreement with Sri Lanka to broaden the scope of its existing FTA. It seems that neither China or India wants to be left behind in boosting its presence in the island nation. more..

UK to investigate £ 6.6 m aid given on anti-corruption campaign to Sri Lanka

Feb 7 (FT) British Govt has decided to initiate an inquiry to review on how £ 6.6 million worth of financial assistance grant to the CIABOC has been spent in combating corruption. Nagananda Kodituwakku, a lawyer and a public litigation activist, said that following a request made by him to the Secretary of State for Int'l Development to inquiry into the transparent utilisation of funds granted to CIABOC, British govt had appointed more..

Zeid expresses concern about slow progress on accountability in Davos

Feb 7 (FT) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein had expressed concern about the slow progress especially relating to accountability at his meeting with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Davos, Switzerland last month, a statement from the High Commissioner’s office said. “I informed the PM that this and other issues of concern will be reflected in the report I will be presenting to the Human Rights Council in March,” High Commissioner said.  more..

Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act reform report in final stages

Feb 7 (EN) A report on changes to SL's Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act is in its final stages, the head of the committee preparing it said. Former Judge of the Supreme Court Justice Saleem Marsoof said views from many concerned organizations were sought and received, which had to be considered before coming up with the report. "The Committee is now in the process of finalising its Report, and would like to announce to the general public with utmost responsibility that more..

ICTA implements e-Document Attesting System at Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Feb 7 (FT) Information & Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) took another step towards creating a digitally-empowered nation by implementing an electronic Document Attesting System (eDAS) at Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Using this electronic system, citizens can now get their certificates attested and certified within 5-15 minutes, by merely accessing one single counter at the Consular Division of MFA. more..

Sri Lanka reiterates commitment to Open Govt Principles

Feb 7 (SLE) At a meeting with Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam on Feb 1, CEO of the Open Govt Partnership (OGP) Sanjay Pradhan stated, that the election of the SL govt two years ago on the plank of good governance gives Sri Lanka the opportunity to play an important role in promoting open govt principles. Ambassador recalled that Sri Lanka was invited to join the OGP in 2015, in recognition of the measures taken by the govt to strengthen good governance, combat corruption and more..

India extends helping hand to differently abled people of Sri Lanka

Feb 7 (HCI) India donated a bus to facilitate the transport of differently abled people belonging to estate sector in Sri Lanka. The bus was handed over by Taranjit Singh Sandhu, High Commissioner of India to SL to Ms. Sunethra Bandaranaike, Chairperson of Sunera Foundation. Foundation is a govt-approved charity that was first set up in April 2000 in recognition of the need to address the psychosocial needs of differently abled people. It uses performance arts as a therapeutic tool. more..

Wiggie skirts issue of LTTE atrocities against Muslims in call to join Eluga Tamil rally

Feb 7 (ENS) CM of Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, brazenly skirted the issue of the LTTE’s atrocities against the Tamil-speaking Muslims of the Northern and Eastern Provinces in 1990, in his appeal to the Muslims to join the Eluga Tamil rally which his organization, Tamil Peoples’ Council (TPC), is to hold in Batticaloa on Feb 10. LTTE had driven out, giving just a day’s notice, nearly 75,000 Muslims more..

'I am confident we can make it to 2017 WC'

Feb 7 (DN) Finishing as one of the top four sides in the Super Six stage which is a direct passport to qualify and play in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup in England will be the utmost priority for Sri Lanka who launches their campaign against India at the P Sara Oval today. SL is just one of 10 nations vying to finish within the first four of the ICC Women’s World Cup qualifier that commences today in Colombo. “India is the toughest team in our group and we have to win at least three matches more..

Some attempt to pressurize the AG: JO

Feb 7 (AD) Some people are eyeing to make false allegation against the Auditor General, the Joint Opposition stressed. JO MP Bandula Gunawardena while speaking at a press conference said that some parties also attempt to pressurize the Auditor General over the controversial bond sale deal. The MP added that the govt had to face a loss of to the tune of Rs.66 million, according to the Auditor General’s report on the overseas tours of former CB governor Arjuna Mahendran. more..

I will always speak openly: AG

Feb 7 (FT) In an apparent reply to Finance Minister’s scathing criticism of him, Auditor General (AG) said he would always speak openly and strive to maintain institution’s transparency. Highlighting that transparency and openness were two of the main features of good governance, AG Gamini Wijesinghe said that he was duty-bound to give information on public assets, especially following the enactment of RTI Act. more..

National Audit Act to Parliament in April

Feb 7 (CT) The much awaited National Audit Act will be presented to the Parliament in April, govt sources said. According to the sources, the draft of the Act has been finalized by the Attorney General's Department and submitted to the Finance Ministry for further clarification. After considering the suggestions of the Finance Ministry, the final draft of the National Audit Act will be taken into the consideration to make sure it does not violate the Constitution. more..

Five AAVA men in police net

Feb 7 (CT) Five suspects, described as members of the AAVA Group, were arrested, at a location in Jaffna yesterday, in connection with a petrol bomb attack on a trade stall at Nallur and a separate assault case, police said. The suspects were identified by CCTV footage positioned close to the trade stall that came under the petrol bomb attack, Police said. Police said the suspects are in the age group of 18 to 21 and residents of Jaffna, Chunnakam and Manipai. more..

Video: SAITM CEO shot at, escapes unhurt

Feb 7 (AD) SAITM CEO Dr. Sameera Senarathne escaped unhurt this evening (6) after two men travelling on a motor bike wearing full-face helmets opened fire at the car, driven by him near the SAITM campus in Malabe, police said. Shooting had taken place when the CEO was leaving SAITM campus and had gone about 850 metres towards Chandrika Kumaranatunga Mawatha. It was reported that CEO escaped unhurt after the incident. more..

Lets turn to the Sun for sustainable energy

Feb 7 (DM) With the possible declaration of a state of emergency and the deployment of troops to deal with the effects of the ongoing drought, citizens need to consider ways in which they could co-operate to overcome this national crisis. Reports indicate that with the water levels in the hydro-power reservoirs dropping, the supply of electricity in the coming weeks and months may hit a blackout point. Therefore, eco-friendly and responsible citizens need to rise beyond party and more..

What do railway’s foreigners only toilets tell about 69th Independence Day?

Feb 7 (DM) Unlike during the decades back when patriotism was forced down the throat, these days there is a degree of circumspection when Sri Lankans mark Independence Day -- the 69th, which was celebrated last Saturday. It would be demeaning to say our post-independent history is a flop. In fact, viewed in absolute terms, Sri Lanka has become better over the past seven decades; social indicators have improved considerably on the back of extensive social welfare measures and more..

VAT Case: Court orders release of production items

Feb 7 (DN) Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court has issued an order directing CID to release the inventory receipts of the confiscated documents belonging to an aggrieved party of the controversial VAT case, which were mixed up with the production items of the VAT case. Chief Magistrate’s Court made this order consequent to a request by counsel appearing for Shirani Dullewa, an aggrieved party in controversial VAT case. more..

CEB needs to pay consumers Rs. 10.4 billion for 2014

Feb 7 (SL) The CEB being instructed to pay an interest on the security deposits of consumers amounting to Rs. 10.4 Billion for 2014. Experts said that Sri Lanka’s monopolistic state owned CEB was issued a guideline from the power sector regulator, Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) recently on disbursing the interest for the security deposits of the consumers which they keep when obtaining a new electricity connection. more..

Passengers hold their noses at racist, incompetent railway

Feb 7 (ST) Sri Lanka Railways, which boasts that it aspires to be the most efficient transport provider of South Asia, insists it will continue the racially discriminatory initiative of providing separate, clean toilets for foreign commuters at rail stations, while bemoaning that it has no money to provide hygienic sanitary facilities for Sri Lankans. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva avoided comment, despite more than 20 calls more..

Sri Lanka holds rates in February as inflation up, reserves down

Feb 7 (EN) Central bank said it was holding rates steady in Feb 2017, as inflation rose and money supply growth remained elevated and forex reserves fell. Private credit grew 21.9% by end 2016. "Although the growth of credit has somewhat eased from the peak of 28.5% observed in July 2016, credit disbursements in absolute terms remain high in spite of the substantial upward adjustments in nominal & real interest rates," more..

Hambantota Industrial Zone: People’s lands will be spared

Feb 7 (CT) A discussion on the future work on the Development Zone in the vicinity of the Hambantota Port was held at Temple Trees yesterday. It was held between members of the committee appointed in connection with the Hambantota Development Zone and govt officials. Members of the Committee, former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Chief of the PM's Staff and Ministers Sagala Ratnayake, Sajith Premadasa, more..

SL has potential to be next Asian Tiger: US

Feb 7 (USE) United States says Sri Lanka has the potential to become the next Asian Tiger. Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the US State Department, Bruce Wharton said that from the beginning Sri Lanka’s potential has never been in doubt. “From the beginning Sri Lanka’s potential has never been in doubt. Today, Sri Lanka has the potential to become the next Asian Tiger,” he said. more..

14 health unions back SAITM: Ratnapriya

Feb 7 (Island) Some health service trade unions are said to have pledged to throw their weight behind the SAITM stating that it was the duty of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to ensure that the Institute reached the required quality of medical education rather than condemning it. President of Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) Saman Ratnapriya said initially a section of the officials of SLMC too had supported the establishment more..

Compensation for victims of wild elephant attacks to be increased to Rs 500,000

Feb 7 (GDI) The compensation given to families of persons killed by wild elephant attacks will  be increased to Rs 500,000 from Rs 200,000. The minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera will present a cabinet paper. Minister made these comments at a discussion to inspect the progress of the Electric fences built in Moneragala. Now the electric fences are being built systematically while the broken fences are being repaired. more..

Video: New audit system to evaluate customer satisfaction soon

Feb 7 (DM) A new citizens’ participatory audit system to assess the services provided by local govt bodies to their constituents would be implemented before long, the Auditor General’s Department said. An audit report will be released based on the feedback received from the residents and other individuals who seek the services of local govt authorities in addition to financial reports and management standards of the entity. more..

CJC to take punitive action against big time financial crimes

Feb 7 (DM) Special Assignments Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama would present a Cabinet Memorandum to constitute a Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) with powers to take punitive actions against big time financial crimes, frauds, corruptions and misuse of funds to the Cabinet today. Minister Amunugama said that the Attorney General (AG) has studied the draft proposal sent by the Cabinet earlier and more..

University staff stage demonstration in front of UCG

Feb 7 (AD) Severe traffic congestion has been reported in the Town Hall area in Colombo due to a protest rally by university non-academic staff. Inter University Trade Union Joint Committee (IUTUJC) has also resorted to a token strike from Tuesday morning. The demonstration is being held in front of the UGC. The strike is believed to be caused due to the lack of initiative taken by the commission to issue a circular to increase the staff’s monthly allowance. more..

Not practical to impose a control price for rice: Bandula

Feb 7 (AD) It is not practical to impose a control price for rice, Joint Opposition MP Bandula Gunawardena said. “Due to the absence of proper legal framework, such as an act or a commission to regulate prices of retail goods, the wise option would be to set a maximum retail price (MRP),” he claimed while addressing a press conference held on Tuesday. He further added that the Consumer Protection Act currently in place facilitates the MRP to be set rather than the control price. more..

අපේ රටේ මෙතරම් දියේ ගිලීම් වාර්තා

Learn from Romania

Feb 7 (Island) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga (CBK), who claims to be the chief architect of the 2015 regime change and what is being flaunted as the UNP-SLFP unity govt, has recently called for action to prevent corruption within ministerial ranks of the yahapalana administration before bringing the corrupt in the previous govt to justice. So, now, it is confirmed that the yahapalana gods also have feet of clay! CBK has, however, added in the same breath that more..

Some politicians are opportunists: Dr. Neville

Feb 7 (AD) Some politicians are opportunists, Dr. Neville Fernando, Chairman of the SAITM claimed on Tuesday. While responding to a reporter at a press conference on a question about the stance of the former President on SAITM, Fernando went on to say in 2013, former President Rajapaksa had even requested him to grant scholarships for students who obtained fine results, but could not enter into a state university. “These students are now in their final year,” he said. more..

Plans to generate electricity from tidal power

Feb 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans a new project with Finnish assistance to generate electricity from tidal power, the power ministry said. Following a meeting with Ambassador of Finland to SL Rauli Suikkanen, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya the minister for power and renewable energy said the ambassador had expressed his fullest support for the project. “Since we have sea around the country we can easily generate power using sea tidals” more..

Dayan Jayatilleka’s Oracle

Feb 7 (CT) Dayan Jayatilleka (DJ), rolling stone that appears to gather no (dogmatic) moss as it rolls, has made a prophesy at the Nugegoda Rally, as claimed by him last week. DJ prophesizes a political Titanic and admonishes, President Sirisena that he should eject PM Wickremesinghe before it hits an iceberg and sinks. Leaving the possibility of a political Titanic for later consideration, it will be useful to discuss DJ’s comments on the PM, which are leading to the disaster as he claims. more..

President launches website on 14th UN International Vesak Festival

Feb 7 (PSL) A website created for the 14th UN International Vesak Festival to be held in Sri Lanka this year, and for the World Buddhist Conference, was launched by President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today (7). This year’s theme of the UN International Vesak Festival is Buddhist Teachings for Social Justice and Sustainable World Peace. The festival will be held from May 12th to 14th. Maha Nayaka of Shyamopali Maha Nikaya, Sri J'pura Kotte Kalyana more..

Action against traders who disregard imported rice price: MS

Feb 7 (NR) President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed officials to take action against traders who fail to follow the price changes imposed on imported rice. The officials were advised during a special discussion held at Presidential Secretariat under the leadership of President and PM. Deputy Minister Asoka Abeysinghe said a special discussion is scheduled to be held today by the Cabinet pertaining to the control price on rice. more..

196 coordinators & advisors for MR- Govt

Feb 7 (NR) The govt today revealed that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had appointed 196 coordinators and advisors during his term as the Head of State. Minister Niroshan Perera revealed that former President Rajapaksa spent over 92 million rupees on his advisors. In response to an oral question raised in Parliament by UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila, State Minister Perera said Former President Rajapaksa had spent millions of public money to facilitate arbitrary appointments. more..

Chinese Embassy says did not contact CBK

Feb 7 (DM) After allegations by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga that the Chinese authorities gave President Rajapaksa Rs.15 billion, Chinese Embassy had reportedly told the Joint Opposition, that it did not meet with her for the last one-and –half-years. On behalf of the JO led by Mr. Rajapaksa, former Minister G.L. Peiris contacted the Embassy in this regard. He said that the embassy confirmed that it did not have any meeting with Ms. Kumaratunga for more than a year. more..

'No lease agreement on Trinco Oil Tanks needs to be signed'

Feb 7 (ENS) In the 2003 tripartite agreement between Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (LIOC), SL govt’s Treasury, and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), there was no requirement to sign a Lease Agreement on the transfer of the 99 oil tanks in Trincomalee to LIOC. COPE threw a bombshell recently by recommending that the govt take over Trinco oil tanks from the LIOC because no Lease Agreement was signed since more..