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Sri Lanka calls on SAARC to unite to eliminate terrorism

Feb 7 (Xinhua) Defense Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi called on members of the SAARC to unite in order to eliminate regional terrorism. President Maithripala Sirisena had emphasized that every country of the SAARC should act with unity at a time when the very existence of SAARC might be threatened, Hettiarachchi said at a SAARC's panel discussion jointly organized by the Institute of National Security Studies of Sri Lanka and the High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka. more..

India interfering in Sri Lanka's internal affairs: Chinese scholar

Feb 7 (PTI) Riled by Sri Lankan envoy's assertion that Colombo will not permit China's military presence in its ports, Chinese official media today quoted a scholar who accused India of interfering in the island nation's internal affairs. Sri Lankan envoy to China Karunasena Kodituwakku last week said that Colombo will not permit any military activity by China in any of its ports, including Hambantota in which Chinese firm will have 80% stake. "Sri Lanka's promise is unnecessary because more..

Alleged money launderer Lokuwithana gets jail free card courtesy Malik Samarawickrama

Feb 7 (CT) Nandana Lokuwithana, the Dubai based SL businessman, more popularly known as Mariott Lokuwithana who is accused of money laundering has received a Jail Free Card courtesy his new found friend, Minister Malik Samarawickrama, highly places sources told the Colombo Telegraph. “As part of the deal, Samarawickrama has assured Lokuwithana that the FCID investigation against him over his more..

Swedish experts here to help SL exporters

Feb 7 (AD) Three Swedish trade experts will be arriving in Colombo next week to meet and help Sri Lankan exporters striving for the Swedish market. The Department of Commerce (DoC) has made arrangements to bring in experts from the Swedish National Board of Trade to meet Lankan exporters in Colombo on 15 Feb. “Sweden–Sri Lanka bilateral trade was at $64 million in 2015. This shows that there is strong unrealised trade potential for both countries,” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. more..

Women's WC qualifiers: India thrash SL

Feb 7 (DNA) India kicked off their Women's World Cup qualifying campaign on a promising note as they crushed Sri Lanka by 114 runs in their opening Group A clash at Sara Oval here on Tuesday. Opting to bat first, Indian opener Deepti Sharma (54) provided her side with a solid start as she not only struck a half-century, but also stitched a huge 123-run stand with Devika Vaidya, who scored blistering 89 runs. The duo were well supported by skipper Mithali Raj who smashed an unbeaten more..

Wigneswaran expresses doubt over assassination reports

Feb 7 (PTI) A senior SL minister has expressed doubt over the reports of an assassination attempt on a leading Tamil politician, calling the alleged attack a ploy by the govt to not reduce the presence of military in the north. CV Wigneswaran, CM of Northern Province, expressed doubts if the assassination story involving the TNA senior MP M A Sumanthiran was an attempt by the govt not to reduce the presence of military in the north. more..

Korea Corner extends MoU with Colombo Public Library

Feb 7 (Island) Korean Ambassador Chang Won-sam says that Korea Corner in Colombo would undergo further development. Addressing a ceremony to mark the third anniversary of Korea Corner, which is situated on the second floor of the Colombo Public Library last week, Ambassador revealed that plans were underway to expand the scope of work by the Centre, so that Sri Lankans could understand Korea better and also enjoy its culture. A MoU between the Embassy of Korea & Colombo Public Library, more..

I had death threats from Feb.1: SAITM CEO

Feb 7 (DM) SAITM's CEO Dr. Sameera Senaratne whose car came under gunfire on Monday night said today he had received death threats on three consecutive days and that he had complained to the IGP, DIG and the Mulleriyawa Police about these threats. He told a news conference that he received several anonymous phone calls on February 1, 2 and 3 asking him to resign from SAITM and that he had lodged the complaint on the third when he received a letter with death threats. more..

SAITM takes centre stage in Parliament

Feb 7 (NR) Recent protests against the operation of the SAITM took centre-stage during the Parliamentary proceedings this afternoon. Several student and trade unions have been continuously demanding the govt to take measures to streamline the operation of medical degree awarding bodies in the country. Minister Lakshman Kiriella stressed that SAITM was inaugurated during tenure of UPFA led govt more..

Video: Wimal further remanded

Feb 7 (DM) Leader of NFF Wimal Weerawansa and Former Deputy General Manager of the State Engineering Corporation Samantha Lokuhannage, arrested on charges of misusing state vehicles have been further remanded. The duo has been further remanded till the 20th of February. Charges have been levelled against MP Weerawansa for allegedly distributing 40 state vehicles worth 90 million rupees to his relatives and friends during his term in office during the previous tenure more..

Wimal’s supporter imprisoned

Feb 7 (DM) NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa’s supporter who obstructed court proceedings when the MP was re-remanded on Jan 24, was imposed a one and half year imprisonment suspended for seven years by Colombo Fort Magistrate today. Police today filed a charge sheet against the suspect on two counts for obstructing a public servant and defaming the judiciary under contempt of court. However, the suspect Sudesh Premalal had pleaded guilty to the charges. more..

Prez backs Xi's Maritime Silk Road project

Feb 7 (PTI) President Maithripala Sirisena today assured full support to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping's ambitious Maritime Silk Road project, saying it will open new era of relations between the two countries. In his message to Xi on the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, Sirisena said Sri Lanka is firmly dedicated to promoting its relations with China. more..

Sri Lankan navy detains 10 Indian fishermen

Feb 7 (TOI) SL navy has detained 10 more Indian fishermen and their trawler on charges of poaching in the territorial waters of the island nation. Around 600 fishing trawlers sailed from Rameswaram fishing jetty on Monday. They returned after fishing on Tuesday morning However, one trawler that belonged to R Kans from Thangachimadam has been apprehended by SL navy. SL navy website mentioned that a fast attack craft attached to Northern Naval Command detained 10 Indian more..

AG blasts CMC exploiting garbage into mega business at expense of hapless citizens

Feb 7 (Island) Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe castigated the top CMC administration for its failure to solve the garbage problem. Addressing top CMC administration at the official residence of the Mayor of Colombo, Wijesinghe alleged that garbage collection as well as disposal had been turned into mega business at the expense of the hapless people. Wijesinghe said that the CMC had neglected its duty and should accept responsibility for the current situation. more..

Fear, politics said driving hostility to Sri Lanka private medical college

Feb 7 (EN) Opposition to a private medical college in Sri Lanka by students and staff of state universities is driven by politics and fear of competition and loss of state monopoly over higher education, officials of the university said. Hostility towards the SAITM, a fee-levying college authorised to award degrees, worsened after a recent Appeal Court ruling supporting the registration of its students. more..

Resurgent Tamil Youth in Tamil Nadu

Feb 8 (CT) Youth of Tamil Nadu in ferment in March 2013, was in revolt in Jan 2017. It achieved a victory unprecedented in the State of TN and momentous at the Centre in Delhi. Within days, legislation was passed in Chennai, approved by the Governor and endorsed by the President, all at the instance of the youth. This historic act legalized jallikattu. Above all it acknowledged youth power as a reality behind political movement. Two million youth united to a single purpose, came to the fore and more..

Addressing the issue of community dogs

Feb 8 (CT) Canine strays have been a perennial concern in urban and suburban areas of Sri Lanka due to the links to dog attacks and the spread of rabies. Adding to this issue is the recent incidence of community dogs frequenting public places, which has been sought to address through various govt policies and strategies. Regarding the efforts to curb the canine stray population and the spread of rabies in Sri Lanka, the question arises as to how the national policies and strategies more..

Entitlement to Enlightenment

Feb 8 (NS) 7-year-old Ismail Aslama, of Muslim parentage has undergone a complete transformation. He is now Rathnapure Siri Sudarshanalankara or Sudarshanalankaram. Metamorphosis took place recently when his father, Hameed Ismail, took him to Chief Incumbent of Dimbulagala Forest Monastery, Millane Siriyalankara who ordained him as a Buddhist monk. The boy’s mother working as a housemaid more..

Setting the record straight

Feb 8 (CT) This newspaper on its Monday's edition published an article from the The Hindu, which purportedly gave the reason behind India's military involvement in SL. The report, allegedly quoting a declassified report of the CIA's said that President J.R. Jayewardene invited the Indians because his own troops refused to takeover Jaffna due to fear of casualties. Principle actor behind these so-called declassified reports, Jayewardene is long dead. Therefore, it's difficult to verify this claim. more..

On SAITM and the medical mafia

Feb 8 (GV) There has been sustained protest and trade union action by the GMOA, the Medical Faculty Students’ Union, and IUSF against the judgment of the Court of Appeal allowing the registration of students of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) with the Sri Lanka Medical Council. The landmark judgment delivered by the Appellate Court on January 31, 2017 confirmed that SAITM is legally eligible to grant medical degrees to its students. more..

'Only the people can solve issues'

Feb 8 (CT) Former Chairman of SLMC Basheer Segu Dawood commenting on his suspension from the high command said, "I was not issued any official letter by the hierarchy. I was suspended from the chairmanship of SLMC but I'm still a member of SLMC but not in the high command" He added, "I always believed only the people can solve issues and they have the power to deliver justice. There had been members in the past who more..

A decade: In Passing

Feb 8 (GV) My mother always used to ask me why I didn’t write more often and I always had a stock reply “Everything I write is so negative, even I can’t stand it”. She was a prolific writer in both Tamil and English, never shying from her quest to explore questions, and was frustrated when I deferred writing. For her writing was an important way to reflect, evaluate and attempt to change, not just other’s perceptions, but our own actions. I am reminded of many such conversations more..

The political prisoner nonsense

Feb 8 (CT) A Bertolt Brecht poem came to mind when a leader in a revolutionary party, sometime ago, shook the party to its root and went to obtain refuge at Medamulana under Mahinda, reminding me of Prince Panchayudha to whom Tibetan national Mahinda Thera went recently to obtain refuge alias Wimal Weerawansa who has a visharadha knowledge regarding international conspiracies in Sri Lanka. This former minister who knows nothing about Guy de Maupassant more..

Kumar Gunaratnam

Special Zone for production of medicinal drugs to be established

Feb 8 (Island) With the establishment of a Special Zone to manufacture quality drugs at affordable prices in the pipeline, the government is scheduled to pursue negotiations with Novartis, a global healthcare company based in Basel, Switzerland. Novartis, with a 150-year history and a global supply chain that reaches one billion people in 155 countries, focuses on innovative patented medicines, generics and eye care devices. Initial talks in this regard, more..

The mysterious mobile phone at Newlands

Feb 8 (CI) Sri Lanka have struggled to take their chances throughout this tour, but clung on to one of the few they got this time. Quinton de Kock looked in imperious form and was on 55 when he walked out to meet a Sachitra Pathirana delivery. But the ball dipped on him and took the edge that flew to the left of stand-in captain Upul Tharanga, who dived to his left at slip and held on with both hands. De Kock's excellent record of converting fifties to hundreds was dented but it needed some more..

'Chandimal needs rest to rediscover best'

Feb 8 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal, SL vice-captain, needs a break from the game to rediscover his form, according to stand-in skipper Upul Tharanga. Chandimal was left out of the team to play the fourth ODI after a string of low scores on the SA tour and could even miss the final match on Friday as he seeks to put a poor tour behind him. "It was a hard decision [to leave him out]," Tharanga said. "We chatted to him and he was okay to rest. more..

Sri Lanka foreign minister to visit Saudi

Feb 8 (AN) Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim said he was making extensive arrangements for the forthcoming visit to Saudi Arabia of his country’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. “It’s going to be a remarkable visit, since the foreign minister’s talks will focus on how best the two countries can cooperate with each other in working toward achieving the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020,” Thassim said more..

CCC and CBB host UK biz delegation

Feb 8 (DM) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) together with the Council for Business with Britain organized a business forum with a visiting business delegation, which was led by the British Sri Lankan Association (BRISLA), UK. Dr. Zimar Sivardeen, President of BRISLA, who led the delegation said, its main objective is to promote Sri Lankan interests in the UK and help enhance existing ties between the two nations. It is focusing on promoting two-way ties in trade and investments, more..

Du Plessis' 185 makes it 4-0 for SA

Feb 8 (CI) A Sri Lankan line-up that was dismissed for under 190 in the first three ODIs and had not topped 300 in any format on the current tour of South Africa made a fist of chasing a record total at Newlands, but eventually fell 40 runs short. South Africa's batsmen filled the boots by posting the highest total at the ground, overtaking the 354 for 3 they put on against Kenya in 2001. It proved enough to extend their winning streak more..

Du Plessis' 185: SA's second-highest score

Feb 8 (CI) 185: Faf du Plessis' score, the second-highest by a South African in ODIs. He fell three runs short of the record; Gary Kirsten's 188 not out against UAE in 1996 World Cup. This was du Plessis' career-best score eclipsing the unbeaten 133 against India in Mumbai in 2015. Only Rohit Sharma has made more - 264 - in an ODI innings against Sri Lanka. 3: Du Plessis' position on the list of the highest scores made by non-openers in ODIs. Charles Coventry is at the top with more..

SL invites bidders for block in Mannar basin

Feb 8 (CG) Govt has invite expressions of interest for partners to undertake the appraisal and development of gas discoveries and prospects in the 2,924-sq km offshore block M2 in the Mannar Basin. The block will be offered for licensing this year, including the Barracuda and Dorado gas-condensate discoveries. A data package will be available containing well data and some 2,600 sq km of 3D seismic coverage. Remainder of acreage will be released in a bid round in 4Q ’17. more..

Sri Lanka tackles the elephant in the room

Feb 8 (DW) Baby elephants have become the must-have status symbol for SL's wealthy. Govt has introduced new laws to protect them. But conservationists believe more action is needed to end mistreatment. Diplomatic gifts between countries can, like most presents, either be a fitting gesture or cause unintended controversy. Donation in 2015 of two baby elephants from the country's Pinnawala orphanage by SL PM to his more..

Global ornamental fish conference INFOFISH kicks off today in Colombo

Feb 8 (FT) The second marketing and technical int'l conference on ornamental fish will be held in Colombo on 8 and 9 Feb. First int'l conference was held in 2014. Export Development Board is organising the conference in collaboration with the Inter-Governmental Organisation for the Asia Pacific region for marketing and technical advisory services INFOFISH based in Malaysia, ornamental fish exporters association and the National Aqua Culture Development Authority of Sri Lanka. more..

SriLankan Airlines’ unlicensed cabin crew on PIA flight intercepted by RAF fighter jets

Feb 8 (CT) A SriLankan Airlines wet leased aircraft operated by its own pilots and cabin crew and used by Pakistan International Airlines to fly from Lahore to London Heathrow, was intercepted by RAF typhoon fighter jets and forced to land at Stansted Airport, after an anonymous phone call had been received regarding a security issue yesterday. A Pakistani man wanted by the UK Metropolitan Police was reported to have been escorted off the aircraft after it landed. more..

TISL says govt not geared to handle RTI

Feb 8 (FT) Transparency international Sri Lanka (TISL) said that the Govt was not fully equipped to fulfil its obligation of providing the public with requested information due to a lack of awareness among state employees, despite the Right to Information Act coming into force last Friday. Recounting its experience on the process of filling RTI applications at four major Govt institutions, TISL called on govt to improve more..

UN women’s rights committee to review SL

Feb 8 (CG) UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is meeting in Geneva from 13 Feb to 3 March to review women’s rights in Sri Lanka as well as Ukraine, Ireland, Jordan, El Salvador, Germany, Rwanda & Micronesia. Committee will review SL on Feb 22. Countries under review have ratified the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and are reviewed regularly by CEDAW on how they are implementing the Convention. more..

Lack of information hampering poverty alleviation: WB

Feb 8 (CT) Though Sri Lanka has made encouraging progress in reducing poverty according to available data, the World Bank (WB) highlighted that there was a lack of information to determine the actual figures to draft proper plans for eliminating poverty. "Sri Lanka has made encouraging progress in reducing the poverty head count, excluding people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, although living standards remain low and pockets of severe poverty persist in the country." more..

Could restoring ancient water tanks help build peace in Sri Lanka?

Feb 8 (TG) After almost three decades of civil war, Sri Lanka has the daunting task of nurturing cohesion in its multi-faith and multi-ethnic community while also addressing the increasing impacts of climate change. Small island country is already facing environmental challenges that could dwarf the damage inflicted by fractures in its society. Drought and erratic weather patterns deplete soils, more..

Chief Minister shoots off letter to PM, calls fishermen detention inhuman

Feb 8 (ENS) Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Tuesday took strong exception to the inhumane act of the SL Navy arresting 10 distressed Ramanathapuram district fishermen on a stalled boat in mid-sea. With this arrest, Sri Lanka had 35 fishermen in custody and the number of seized boats 120. OPS, in his letter to PM Narendra Modi, urged him to ensure the immediate release of these fishermen and their boats. In particular, the 10 fishermen held on Tuesday should be freed more..