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Senior ministers meet families of the disappeared after Vavuniya hunger strike

Feb 10 (FT) Senior Govt Ministers met 15 families of the disappeared who launched a hunger strike in Vavuniya last month for a meeting at Temple Trees yesterday that was long and rocky. The meeting held at 11 a.m. yesterday was chaired by Minister Sagala Ratnayake, with Ministers Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, D.M. Swaminathan, Ruwan Wijewardene and IGP Pujith Jayasundera also participating in the discussion. more..

Scribes as assassins

Feb 10 (Island) Three journalists who were arrested in Sept 2009 and charged with conspiring to assassinate the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa have recently been acquitted. Immediately after being taken into custody, they were held and interrogated by the Terrorist Investigations Division (TID). Their acquittal has come as no surprise. We have heard of politicians killing scribes. Several prominent journalists were brutally done to death during the Rajapaksa govt. more..

This waste and plunder must stop now

Feb 10 (DM) With the ever-increasing marvels of modern technology making the concept of a global village more of a reality and with the newly-inaugurated US President Donald Trump bringing about chaos in the international political and economic order, paradigm shifts are necessary. For instance, there is little relevance in the old labels of capitalism and socialism. In any event, even in the cases of the so-called socialist giants such as the former Soviet Union and China what we saw more..

Cabinet Reshuffle Delayed

Feb 10 (DM) When President Maithripala Sirisena stressed at a top level meeting last Friday that he should take some action to eliminate corruption, it was construed as a reference to a Cabinet reshuffle. It proved to be correct later, but the President did not move on it. The unity govt has appointed a committee comprising representatives from both UNP & SLFP to discuss issues cropping up in the execution of tasks by the two sides. more..

Salley guns for Law and Order Minister

Feb 10 (Island) The Law and Order Minister, Sagala Ratnayake should resign for failing to take tangible measures against some of those responsible for various violations, Managing Director, Lanka Cement Reyyaz Salley said. "Even PM is responsible for this situation," he added. Salley, Chairman of the Islamic Solidarity Front (ISF) and Trustee of the Davatagaha Mosque, quoted many instances to support his demand for more..

NWSDB employees threaten all-out strike in a few days

Feb 10 (Island) Water supply would be disrupted countrywide due to a trade union action launched by the employees of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) from yesterday demanding a solution for problems created due to the 2006/06 circular. NWSDB workers had withdrawn from overtime work, night time maintenance and weekend maintenance activities, President of Engineering more..

Anti-Corruption Front digs into ex-CB governor’s mistress, mink coat etc

Feb 10 (Island) The Head of ACF Ven Walapane Sri Sumangala Thera on said that former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran had embezzled a whopping Rs. 66 million from the Central Bank funds only for his luxury lifestyle in addition to the salary and perks he was enjoying by virtue of his office. The monk said Mahendran who was not granted a second term due to pressure from many a quarter, though PM tried his best to more..

Change in top command appointments on the cards

Feb 10 (Island) Changes in top command appointments are being contemplated in the armed forces as well as the Civil Defence Force (CDF) aka Civil Security Department with the latter likely to be placed under a military officer again. President Sirisena appointed Chandrarathne Pallegama, a Special Class Sri Lanka Administrative Service Officer as the DG of CDF in early Feb 2015. Having completed two years, Pallegama is more..

UK optimistic about relations between UK and Sri Lanka

Feb 10 (CG) The British Govt is optimistic about relations between Britain and Sri Lanka. Laura Clarke, Head of South Asia Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office made very positive remarks on Sri Lanka – UK relations and the current dynamics which would help in further consolidating the political, economic and cultural  relations between the two countries. She was speaking at a reception held in London more..

Ex-SL navy chief narrates how the US helped destroy LTTE floating armories

Feb 10 (ENS) Former Sri Lankan navy chief Adm. Jayanath Colombage has, in his recently published book Asymmetric Warfare At Sea: The Case of Sri Lanka, described how the US helped the SL navy destroy the LTTE’s floating armories by supplying vital satellite images of the location of these ship-borne warehouses. The destruction of the floating armories helped the SL navy win Eelam War IV in the sea, more..

'Internal audit on Mahendran should be probed'

Feb 10 (DM) State Minister of Finance, Laksman Yapa Abeywardana said a thorough investigation must also be launched on the allegations made by a Central Bank internal inquiry against former governor Arjuna Mahendran in a manner, similar to the Commission of Inquiry appointed by President to probe the infamous bond scam. Commenting on the statement that had been sent by Mr. Mahnendran to the media on more..

Lankan Tamils want a political settlement: CV Wigneswaran

Feb 10 (PTI) Charging that the current SL govt had misled the Tamils, the Chief Minister of the northern province CV Wigneswaran today said the minority community will continue to push for their democratic rights including a political solution to the Tamil question. Addressing the Ezhuga Thamizh rally in Batticaloa, Wigneswaran alleged that President Maithripala Sirisena had misled the opposition and TNA leader more..

Office on Missing Persons powers to be reduced

Feb 10 (Island) The Office on Missing Persons is to be stripped of its power of entering into agreements with an individual or an organization. Office on Missing Persons Act was passed in Parliament on Aug 23, 2016. Media Minister Gayantha Karunathillake said that the Cabinet had on Tuesday approved a proposal by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to repeal paragraph (A) of Article 11 of the Office on Missing Persons more..

Policy promise becomes a reality

Feb 11 (SO) The land ownership of Plantation Community is a long standing demand. Political parties, civil society organizations and other intellectuals have been demanding land ownership right for this community for a long time. Several promises have been made by previous govts, especially, with regard to ownership of housing. However, in the past, importance had been assigned only to the construction of houses and not to ownership. After Presidential election in more..

Graphic Traffic

Feb 11 (CT) Negotiating the adrenaline raising traffic down Galle Road in his compact Maruti car is routine for Ranjith Silva. Born and bred in Colombo never has Ranjith gone through such tension and stress whilst driving. The Sales Manager working for a Pharmaceutical company based in Slave Island Colombo 02 has been driving this route for almost ten years now. Getting to work on time every morning has become some sort of a challenge for him. Precious time lost in the road. more..

'I did not give vehicles to Wimal’s relatives'

Feb 11 (CT) UNP MP, Professor Ashu Marasinghe said, that he gave a statement to FCID, regarding the incident of the misuse of vehicles. "I have not done anything wrong. I have not personally misused vehicles. I had an official vehicle that was given to me. I gave that vehicle back and went home. I had no necessity to misuse vehicles nor have I misused vehicles". Q: You are also mentioned, in allegations against MP Wimal more..

Targeting the TNA, testing the nation?

Feb 11 (SL) Going beyond or, ahead of what the religious-right JHU may have to say on the subject, the reported arrest of four ex-LTTErs for allegedly conspiring to target TNA MP, M. A. Sumanthiran, needs to be squarely condemned. If it’s any indicative of any return to the old, forgotten ways, it needs to be pursued with the same vigour that made the military defeat of the dreaded terrorist organisation possible. A late entrant into moderate Tamil politics, hence the TNA, more..

Lobbying begins ahead of UNHRC 34

Feb 11 (SL) Attempts to lobby support against Sri Lanka ahead of the 34th session of the UNHRC in Geneva is underway, though the attempt is very likely to prove futile. Some diaspora groups are determined to block moves by Sri Lanka to get UNHRC backing for more time to show progress on the accountability issue related to the war. S. V. Kirubaharan, General Secretary of the Tamil Centre for Human Rights said that some diaspora groups and civil society, including his organisation, more..

Are we celebrating true independence?

Feb 11 (SL) Sri Lanka celebrated its 69th Independence Day yesterday (4). A majority of the public, while praising the good governance regime, believe alot needs to be done especially in Northern, Eastern and Southern part of the country for the public to enjoy the fruits of independence. A section of the Tamil community feel that the govt needs to do more for the benefit of their community while some Muslims hope that law & order more..

Let them be

Feb 11 (NS) Colombo is never short of open public spaces for people to come, chill, catch up with friends, speak their hearts out to their lovers, and even to have some alone time. Sometimes, seated under a tree, staring into the world with fresh air fanning your face is better than being in a closed, air-conditioned room with many people around. But are these open spaces really open to the public in its true sense. Last week, the Nation came across instances where couples were more..

Country sans corruption and other soft 69ers

Feb 11 (FT) I didn’t watch the Independence Day parades this year. Which was hard for me, as I like to see the march past of the nation’s military might, machine and human. The sight of Sri Lanka’s valiant defenders and the glorious sound of our National Anthem in two national languages is a heady and heart-warming combination. Even at the height of the war against the LTTE, especially in the dark thick of the last press through towards a breakthrough to break terrorism’s spine, more..


Power: Planning, generation, usage & potential savings in Sri Lanka

Feb 11 (CT) In recent times power or more to the point lack power to meet peak demand has been a real issue for all concerned. There is a possibility to declare emergency and deployment of armed forces to deal with ongoing effects of drought and power outages. In a developing country, such as Sri Lanka, power system planning faces enormous challenges and problems as, for example, future load growth in the face of uncertainties, constraints imposed on investment, type and availability of fuel more..

SAITM issue more political than medical

Feb 11 (NS) The controversy over the SAITM continues. Last week the Court of Appeal decreed that its graduates should be registered with the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). Now, that all powerful trade union and self-proclaimed guardian angels of the hapless Sri Lankan patient, the GMOA is protesting. Their comrades in arms are medical students in state medical faculties and opposition political parties, notably the Joint Opposition (JO) and the JVP. more..

Sri Lanka Athletics in turmoil

Feb 11 (CT) Sri Lanka's national athletes were left with no choice but prepare their own tracks to carry out their training, as empty promises and lack of at least the basic facilities to train had been in turmoil in SL athletics recently. Sri Lanka's premier track, Sugathadasa Stadium hasn't been in a usable condition for more than two years now and the minister's promise to get it ready before last January had proved to be just an unfilled promise as more..

Video: Blood drenched body found with hands bound

Feb 11 (AD) A person has been shot and killed in the Sirisethgama area in Nikaweratiya this evening. The deceased has been identified as Janaka Priyantha, a resident of Sirisethgama, Nalagamuwa. Police have arrested a 43-year-old resident of the area in connection with the murder along with a firearm, believed to have been used to carry out the shooting. Preliminary inquiries have uncovered that the murder occurred as a result of a financial dispute.  more..

High Commission in New Delhi celebrates 69th Anniversary of Independence

Feb 11 (GDI) High Commission of SL celebrated the 69th anniversary of the independence of Sri Lanka with the official ceremony held in the morning of 4th of Feb followed by an evening reception at the High Commission premises on the 6th of Feb, 2017. Official ceremony was commenced with the hoisting of the national flag by High Commissioner Chitranganee Wagiswara. Following the rendering of the National Anthem, religious dignitaries representing Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and more..

South Africa rout SL, complete ODI sweep

Feb 11 (CI) South Africa rode a roaring 187-run first-wicket stand and two effortless centuries from their openers to a monumental 384 for 6 and, eventually, No. 1 ODI ranking. Their reward for winning an 11th ODI on the trot was the unseating of Australia - whom they had also thrashed 5-0 at home last year - and moving one point clear at the top of the table. SA's dominance of SL in this series has been complete. more..

Dickwella takes a cue from Mr 180

Feb 11 (CI) The missed chance of Hashim Amla would prove to be incredibly costly for Sri Lanka, but the drop that would have really worried them came in the 33rd over, when they reprieved their primary tormentor of the series. Faf du Plessis had just scooped Lahiru Kumara for six, when Kumara managed to have du Plessis chip the ball high towards mid on. Sachith Pathirana got himself beneath the ball, but failed to snatch it. Thankfully for SL, du Plessis would add only 15 more more..

Sri Lanka to target real effective exchange rate (REER) index

Feb 11 (EN) Sri Lanka will target an inflation adjusted exchange rate index relative to competitors to keep the rupee competitive, while also targeting inflation through a flexible framework, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "The framework is over time - gradually - to get to the point where the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) is 100," he said. "But that will be a gradual process." A REER is as statistical construct which attempts to show an effective/nominal exchange rate (EFF/NEER) more..

Sri Lankan war survivors urge U.N. to push for speedy justice for abuses

Feb 11 (TRF) Families whose loved ones disappeared during Sri Lanka's civil war have called on the UN to pressure the govt to speed up a war crimes probe after a senior minister said it would take more time to investigate alleged abuses. Almost eight years have passed since the civil war pitting govt forces against separatist Tamil rebels ended, but the govt has failed to prosecute alleged war crimes such as torture, unlawful killings more..

'Schoolboy sports hijacked by sadists'

Feb 11 (NS) Sri Lanka’s sporting cradle is being rocked by sadistic elements and if not brought under control could spell doom on an unprecedented scale for youth sports in the country before long. The red alert was made by the principal of Trinity College as he launched his school’s 100th big match annual cricket encounter against St. Anthony’s College which both schools bragged was the only sports encounter in the country that offered a platform for decency and fair-play. more..

Korea-SL substantive cooperation expanding

Feb 11 (Island) Substantive cooperation between Korea and Sri Lanka is being expanded with both countries preparing to celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations later this year. Minister Mangala Samaraweera and his Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se had agreed to work closely to make a success of various cultural events planned to commemorate the 40th anniversary of official ties, which dated back to Nov 14, 1977 with the liberalisation of the Sri Lankan economy, more..

Govt will not stop providing elephants for Peraheras: PM

Feb 11 (DM) The govt will not stop providing elephants for Peraheras, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Speaking during the final day’s opening of annual Nawam Perahera of Hunupitiya Gangararama Temple last evening, PM said President and other relevant parties have discussed and decided on steps that should be taken to resolve the issues. “Anyway the govt will not stop providing elephants to Peraheras more..

Committe recommends bidder to SriLankan deal

Feb 11 (DN) Authoritative sources said the re-orientation committee appointed to recommend a bidder for SriLankan Airlines has submitted a report to the govt. BNP Paribas and KPMG are the financial and transaction advisors on the airline’s restructuring. The parties are Super Group Partners, (a consortium comprising predominantly Asian investors) Texas Pacific Group/TPG (with interests in Maldives and Singapore) and Sri Lankan investor Peace Air. more..

Centre of SAITM shooting drama gone to Russia

Feb 11 (Island) CEO of SAITM Dr Sameera Senaratne who had complained to the Mulleriyawa police that he received anonymous death threats and was at the centre of controversy of a shooting incident where he said he was the target had left for Russia. He had not given reasons for his departure to Russia. His car which was damaged after unidentified gunmen fired at it after arriving on a motorcycle at Chandrika Bandaranaike Mawatha at Malabe had been sent to the Govt Analyst. more..

Sri Lanka war crimes probe: UN urged not to give additional time

Feb 11 (CT) Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) passed a Resolution in its Sixth Parliamentary sitting in Paris, France, thanking the UNHRC for monitoring Sri Lanka’s International Crimes and Human Rights abuses, strongly urging the UNHRC not to give any extension of time beyond the March 2017 deadline to SL Govt for it to fulfill its commitment to the unanimously adopted UNHRC Resolution more..

First hybrid power plant opened in Sri Lanka

Feb 11 (PTI) Sri Lanka opened its first hybrid power plant with a capacity of 60 KW that will generate electricity using wind, solar and diesel. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya inaugurated the plant in Eluvathivu Island in Jaffna. The new plant with a capacity of 60 KW will generate electricity using wind, solar and diesel. It has been built with the financial assistance rendered by the ADB and the CEB aiming the promotion of green energy at a cost of Rs. 187 million. more..

A(H1N1) outbreak under control

Feb 11 (DN) The Influenza A (H1N1) outbreak reported from Bibile and Medagama is completely under control, Acting Director General of Health Services Dr. Jayasundara Bandara said. Around 30 Influenza A (H1N1) patients received treatment from the Bibile Base Hospital from Jan 27 to Feb 8. Four of the patients were pregnant mothers and five were children. The blood samples of those patients had been forwarded to the Medical Research Institute (MRI), Borella. more..

VAC raises questions over transactions behind Wi-Fi Balloon Project

Feb 11 (NF) Voice Against Corruption (VAC) questions as to whether there was a suspicious transactions that took place with regard to the Balloon Project which was to provide the entire country with free Wi-Fi service. Convenor of the VAC, Wasantha Samarasinghe, said that issues have arisen with regard to an institution named Rama, which is involved in the project. In Feb 2016, a Balloon was launched with the promise of more..