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Conserve electricity to avoid power cuts

Feb 9 (FT) The Power Deputy Minister made a passionate appeal to the public to consume electricity sparingly if they wanted to enjoy an uninterrupted power supply as severe drought conditions continue to prevail in the country. “People in the Western Province who consume 60% of electricity don’t even remember that the country is facing a severe drought. Western, Southern and Wayamba provinces should be careful with consumption. more..

2 more Medical Colleges in pipeline: Kiriella

Feb 9 (CT) Two more, new medical colleges will be established in the country within this year, said Minister Lakshman Kiriella. According to him two new govt controlled medical colleges are in the pipelines of discussion to be constructed in the North Western Province and the Southern Province- specifically in Ruwanpura. Minister was of the opinion that the constructions are due to start within the course of this year. Meanwhile, Cabinet had recently given the green light to more..

CB Governor remains tight-lipped on actions taken against Perpetual

Feb 9 (DM) Although asserting that action has been taken to curtail the operations of the controversial primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries, CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy refused to give the details by taking refuge in the secrecy provisions afforded to the Central Bank under the Monetary Law Act. “Monetary Board has taken some action to curtail the activities of Perpetual Treasuries and those actions are more..

EU grants worth €44.5m for agriculture and reconciliation work

Feb 9 (FT) The govt yesterday announced plans to enter into an agreement with the European Union (EU) to provide grant assistance of €42 million to finance two agriculture based programs. A major component of the funds, provided under EU’s Multiannual Indicative Program 2014-2020, will finance programs to support the Modernisation of the Agricultural Sector in Sri Lanka and strength the reconciliation processes in SL. The funds allocated under EU aid program remained unused more..

Tea industry kicks off 2017 with record monthly sales average in January

Feb 9 (FT) The country’s tea industry has kicked off the New Year with a record monthly sales average in January. The total monthly average of Rs. 596.26 per kilo recorded in January was the highest ever monthly average recorded surpassing the previous highest of Rs. 581.33 realised in November 2016. High-grown average of Rs. 619.55 per kilo and Medium-grown average of Rs. 549.14 per kilo for the month of January is the highest ever monthly elevational averages recorded. more..

SLMC has no option than accepting SAITM now: Kiriella

Feb 9 (DM) Govt said Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has no option other than accepting SAITM as a fully qualified private medical college now that the Court of Appeal has given a clear ruling in favour of it. Minister Laxaman Kiriella said that govt would fully honour the Court of Appeal ruling on the SAITM issue and intervene to provide full facilities at State hospitals for medical students of SAITM to undergo clinical training as more..

Vision 2020: Who wants it to go blind?

Feb 9 (DM) Since 2007 one of the Health Ministry’s most enlightened operations, has been the Vision 2020 Mission, where up to now more than 40,000 cataract operations have been done virtually free of charge, for poor people in different parts of the country. Those who could afford were required to pay only about Rs. 2,500 for a quality lens and about Rs. 2,000 for other basic surgical costs. For those who could not afford even this, the lens was provided free of charge through more..

Wigneswaran and puppeteering with ghosts

Feb 9 (DM) Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara’s recent comments on Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran contained valid observations, old news delivered as though it was new, half-truths and some uncalled for insults. Wigneswaran’s response was, in contrast, quite sober though not unproblematic. In Jayasekera’s opinion, Wigneswaran is nothing but a bhoothya. An evil ghost instigating disharmony between the Sinhalese and Tamils, to be precise. more..

A Ramayana told through Ravana’s eyes captures pain of SL’s war-affected women

Feb 9 (Scroll) In India, Rama may be the ideal hero, the god-king who rescued his beloved from the clutches of a demon emperor, but in Sri Lanka, it is his antagonist, Ravana, who is loved and mourned as a tragic, misunderstood hero. A hero whose fatal flaw perhaps was his hubris. Few people know the story of Ravana as intimately as Professor S Maunaguru. An authority on Sri Lanka Tamil theatre and a preeminent artiste, more..

PIA’s growing backlash against Yahapalanaya

Feb 9 (DM) Experiencing two years of Yahapalanaya, those who brought forth the change in govt seem to be anxious over a few of its practices, so much so, People’s Intellectual Assembly (PIA), severely criticised the administration of failing to keep up with its promises. PIA Secretary Srinath Perera said the ruling party was giving excuses to postpone the polls. “We have been denied the right of selecting politicians. more..

MRIA makes hay while BIA undergoes renovations

Feb 9 (DM) Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) has become busier with at least five flights using the airport daily, a far cry from the one flight which used the air port during the past year. The airport had at least 400 passengers each day since the closure of the BIA in January 6, for renovations. The main runway at the BIA will remain closed during the day until April for the construction of two new runways. more..

Help halt forest destruction

Feb 9 (ST) The plea is directly to the most powerful person in Sri Lanka – none other than President Maithripala Sirisena himself. Put a stop to the rapid deforestation of the country, otherwise the consequences would be disastrous, is the urgent request going out from top environmentalists, as already the impact of such deforestation is being tragically experienced in the nook and crannies of the country, more..

SL targets US$ 7.4bn forex reserves in 2017

Feb 9 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to end 2017 with 7.4 billion US dollars of forex reserves or about 2 billion up from the 5.5 billion in January, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. Sri Lanka plans to raise up to US$ 1.5 billion from a sovereign bond sale in 2017 and another billion dollars from a syndicated loan that is currently being negotiated, he said. Sri Lanka may also get 250 to 300 million dollars from the sale of Mattala Airport. more..

SL boosts scientific cooperation with CERN

Feb 9 (CG) An International Cooperation Agreement (ICA) to enhance scientific cooperation in High Energy Physics between the scientific community of Sri Lanka and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), was signed in Geneva. Minister Susil Premajayantha and the Director for International Relations of CERN,  Ms. Charlotte Warakaulle signed on behalf of the two parties. more..

Video: CBK making false allegations: Namal

Feb 9 (DM) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa urged former president Chandrika Kumaratunga to take legal action against the wrongdoers involved in CB bond issue without making false allegations against former president Rajapaksa and him. He said that she should make a complaint if she was a true patriot and rejected an allegation made by Ms. Kumaratunga recently that he had US$1 billion in a bank account in Dubai. more..

Malinga returns to SL T20 squad

Feb 9 (CN) Sri Lankan slinger set for international return after being named in squad to face Australia in a three-match series Lasith Malinga is set to make his long-awaited return to international cricket in the T20 series against Australia. Malinga was today named in a 15-man squad for the three-match KFC T20 INTL series, with Upal Tharanga named Sri Lanka's new skipper in lieu of the injured Angelo Mathews. more..

SAITM CEO shooting a staged hoax: JO

Feb 9 (DM) The joint opposition claimed that the Monday night shooting incident in which the CEO of the SAITM escaped unhurt was staged. SAITM CEO Dr. Sameera Senarathne escaped unhurt when his car allegedly came under fire by two men travelling on a motorcycle wearing full-face helmets while he was leaving the SAITM premises in Malabe. MP Jayantha Samaraweera said none of the CCTV cameras in the vicinity of the crime more..

TNA accuses govt of apathy towards Tamil citizens

Feb 9 (FT) TNA accused the govt of apathy towards the plight of its citizens demanding the release of their lands in Mullaitivu, as a protest by residents of Keppapilavu entered its ninth day yesterday. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran who moved an adjournment motion in Parliament on the issue, lashed out at the ruling coalition, accusing the govt of reneging on pledges to release private lands in N&E President had made before the election. more..

Hey, Maithri & Ranil, cast aside your opposition-mindset, you’re in power

Feb 9 (CT) Mahinda Rajapaksa along with the national media, the so-called free media, which was nowhere to be seen during Rajapaksa’s regime, the media that was under siege time after time under the cruel determinations of the regime’s virtual second-in-command, Secretary of Defense, has assumed dimensions disproportionate to the actual, now seems to be controlling the national conversation. Not the Govt. The so-called Joint Opposition, the dregs of the last regime, more..

Halt religious indoctrination: 18 should be made in law the age of ordination to clergy

Feb 9 (CT) Ismail Aslama, a seven-year-old male child of Muslim parentage, is no more. He is now Rathnapure Siri Sudarshanalankara/ Sudarshanalankaram. The conversion took place recently when his father, Hameed Ismail, brought him to the Dimbulagala Forest Monastery (Aranya Senasanaya – there is also the Dimbulagala rock) and subsequently Chief Incumbent of the Monastery, Millane Siriyalankara ordained him as a monk in the Buddhist faith. more..

සිනමා ශිල්පිනී අයිරාංගනී සේරසිංහයන්

Tharanga gives SL hope as SA eye 5-0

Feb 9 (CI) Sri Lanka trail 4-0, have not yet batted out 50 overs in the series, and continue to lack menace with the ball, but around Upul Tharanga's sleek 119 at Newlands, a little hope has built. The hope is not necessarily that Sri Lanka can prevent a whitewash - although that is their immediate concern. The larger expectation is that perhaps there are the makings of a competitive top order in this present unit. Niroshan Dickwella's fifties through the course of the limited-overs matches have suggested more..

Lahiru Weerasekera released on bail

Feb 9 (NR) The Convener of the Inter University Students Federation Lahiru Weerasekera arrested and remanded for violating a court order has been released on bail. The order was issued by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne this morning. Lahiru Weerasekera was released on a 100,000 rupee surety bail. Weerasekera was arrested for violating his bail condition that ordered him to refrain from participating in protests. He was arrested on the 26th of January. more..

Publishing internal audit reports: My version of the story

Feb 9 (CT) Several news items have recently appeared in some News papers, and Websites which carried the statements of various interested parties alleging various unsubstantiated issues against me. These statements are libelous in the extreme. They are based on extremely dubious and unverified sources. Nor has anyone from such media organizations which gave wide publicity to uncorroborated allegation more..

World Bank says no assessment of AG’s report on bond Issue

Feb 9 (CG) The World Bank says it has not undertaken an assessment of the Auditor General’s report on the bond Issue. In reference to some of the incorrect statements carried by a few media outlets on this issue, the World Bank, in a statement today, clarified it has not undertaken any assessment of Auditor General’s report on the bond Issue. It was reported recently that the World Bank had written to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe giving its opinion on the Central Bank bond issue. more..

Frontline Socialist Party join GMOA, JVP battle against SAITM

Feb 9 (DN) Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) pledged support to the GMOA's battle against the SAITM. The FSP said this today at a discussion held with the GMOA. At the meeting, both parties agreed that SAITM should be shut down. GMOA and the JVP held a discussion on Tuseday and agreed to fight together on a common platform to defeat SAITM. SAITM puts the medical service and patients' lives in a great danger, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said at that meeting. more..

Fitch confirms Sri Lanka 'B+' rating, outlook revised to stable

Feb 9 (EN) Fitch Ratings has confirmed Sri Lanka's ratings at 'B+' and revised the outlook to stable from negative, noting that fiscal performance was better and should narrow the budget deficit and growth prospects were favourable. The Country Ceiling and issue ratings on Sri Lanka's senior unsecured foreign- and local-currency bonds were also confirmed at 'B+' and Short-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency ratings confirmed at 'B', more..

Soldier killed in train collision in northern SL

Feb 9 (Xinhua) One solider was killed and another injured when the army vehicle they were travelling in collided with a train in the former war torn north on Thursday, police said. The two soldiers were attached to the Ariyalai army camp in the Jaffna district. Local media reported that the accident occurred when the army vehicle had attempted to cross the railway track despite the Yal Devi Train being in close distance. An investigation has been launched into the accident. more..

Namal Rajapaksa & 3 issued new order

Feb 9 (NR) Court today ordered UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa and three other defendants to appear before the FCID on the last Sunday every two months on charges of violating the Money Laundering Act. Three directors of two company’s belonging to MP Namal Rajapaksa are among the defendants. MP Namal Rajapaksa is charged over misusing 45 million rupees during his role as a MP. Court also issued an international arrest warrant for two other directors of the two companies more..

Rice farmers vow to fight Chinese investors

Feb 9 (TRF) These days, Vimalabudhi Thero, head monk at the Beragama village Buddhist temple, is consumed more by worldly concerns than matters of the soul. With news that Chinese investors are eyeing the fertile plains he calls home, villagers worry this could end generations of family farming in their verdant corner of southern SL. "My biggest fear is that I will be left with a temple & a bunch of Chinese donating more..

Parliament adjourned for 10 minutes

Feb 9 (AD) Parliament has been adjourned for 10 minutes by the Speaker due to a disruptive situation over a financial regulation. Four motions under the Ministry of Finance were slated to be approved by the Parliament yesterday, however only one of them had been presented to the House yesterday. Therefore the remaining three motions were to be added to the Parliament’s agenda for today, when UPFA members representing the Joint Opposition raised objections.  more..

Divineguma (Amendment) Bill passed

Feb 9 (AD) Parliament today passed the Divineguma (Amendment) Bill, renaming the Divi Neguma Development Department to Samurdhi Department. Divi Neguma Development Department was established in 2013 through the merging of the Samurdhi Authority, Upcountry Development Authority, Southern Development Authority, Department of Upcountry Rural Rehabilitation and the Department of the Commissioner General of Samurdhi. more..

'I will impartially bring justice to SAITM issue'

Feb 9 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena emphasizes he will not allow any injustice to happen to the medical students of universities due to SAITM in Malambe. “As the President of the country I am not partial to any party in this issue. I will bring justice to every student while being impartial. I will have discussions with all relevant parties and solve this problem through a reasonable program which everybody can accept”, more..

Video: Elections Chief says DR to be gazetted next week

Feb 9 (DM) Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said today they needed 90 days to conduct the elections from the date of the gazette notification after any technical defects were rectified. He said the delimitation report (DR) would be gazetted by next Wednesday. He said this after meeting Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Faizer Mustapha in connection with the appeals submitted on the delimitation report. more..

MR’s family tours cost SriLankan Rs. 113m

Feb 9 (LT) According to SriLankan Airlines sources the money that has to be paid to the Airlines due to flights undertaken by former President Rajapaksa and his entourages during the period March, 2011 to 31st Dec, 2014 is Rs. 113,404,724. He, with his entourage, had travelled in passenger flights and at times he has travelled using credit facilities but the money has still not been paid. Rs. 3,507,098 is due for flight UL 1081/2 taken on credit facilities on 9th March, 2011 to Johannesburg more..

Video: SAITM: MR’s good thought, says Amunugama

Feb 9 (DM) Establishing of the private medical university-SAITM –was a great effort done by former President Rajapaksa, Minister Sarath Amunugama said. He said the SLFP should be thankful to Mr. Rajapaksa for introducing the private medical universities to the country and it was a wise move that he had ever taken. “The protests against the SAITM are not a practical thing according to our view. more..

Maldives says it attaches high importance to Sri Lanka

Feb 9 (CG) Maldives today said that it attaches high importance to Sri Lanka as it is one of the closest partners of the Maldives. Minister Mangala Samaraweera paid a courtesy call on President Abdul Gayoom. President welcomed the Minister to the Maldives and conveyed his greetings and good wishes to the President of Sri Lanka. During the call, the President highlighted the excellent relations between the Maldives and Sri Lanka, and stated that the Maldives attaches high importance to SL, more..

SF Lokka released on bail

Feb 9 (AD) Iron Ranasingha alias SF Lokka, the main suspect in the murder of nightclub owner Wasantha de Zoysa in Anuradhapura, has been granted bail by A'pura High Court, after more than a year in remand custody. He was ordered released on a cash bail of Rs 100,000 and two personal bail of Rs 500,000 each, under strict bail conditions.  Alexander de Zoysa, an ex-Karate champion who is said to be the owner of several Guinness World Records, was hacked to death more..

Eligible students to be admitted to Royal

Feb 9 (DM) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said qualified and suitable students in the waiting list will be recruited to Grade One of Royal College, Colombo in place of students whose admissions were halted following the forwarding of fraudulent documents. He said that it has been scheduled to complete the Grade 1 admission process by next week after selecting students from the second list (Waiting list). more..

NFF to lodge complaints against Mahendran

Feb 9 (NR) The NFF says it will lodge a complaint at the CIABOC and the CID against the former Governor of the Central Bank Arjun Mahendran. Speaking at a media briefing today MP Jayantha Samaraweera said the charges will be filed against Mahendran for misusing funds during his tenure as the Governor. MP Samaraweera said as the NFF the party will take prompt action against financial corruption that took place under the former governor of the central bank. more..