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Nigerian arrested for cheating SL woman on FaceBook

Feb 11 (DM) A Nigerian National, who had befriended a married woman in Sri Lanka over facebook and later lured her into giving him Rs 4.3 million, was apprehended in Malabe. The woman, who was from Badulla, had been seduced by the suspect over facebook. He had allegedly promised to give her valuable presents after showing her photos of gold jewellery and other valuables and had won her heart. Suspect had then informed the gullible woman that in order to release more..

Pro-yahapalana group backs SAITM

Feb 11 (Island)  A civil society grouping which threw its weight behind Maithripala Sirisena’s candidature at the Jan 2015 presidential poll has urged the president to abide by the Court of Appeal ruling pertaining to the proposed registration of SAITM undergraduates. A spokesperson for the civil society grouping said that they stressed on the responsibility of the govt to ensure all stakeholders adhere with the Court of Appeal ruling. Asked whether the pro-govt grouping backed SAITM, more..

SL’s RTI rating jumps to 3rd place globally

Feb 11 (CT) Sri Lanka’s Right to Information (RTI) global rating has jumped from 9th to 3rd place with the recent gazetting of the RTI Commission’s Rules on Fees and Appeals as well as the Regulations under the Act. Issuing a statement, Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD, Canada) which monitors the ratings of RTI laws around the world, said that this was impressive. Commending the RTI Commission and SL, more..

Journalist Ariyadasa Peiris passes away

Feb 11 (DN) Veteran radio announcer and artiste of yesteryear Ariyadasa Peiris passed away yesterday. He was 91. Peiris left an indelible imprint in the annals of the Commercial Service of SLBC as the first announcer to present a programme in 1951. He presented a number of programmes such as Adunika Pey, Maliban Guwan Thotilla, Pibidena Gayaka Parapura, Pena Podi, Suhada Pathum, Ouw-Na-Ba, Puluwannam Dinaganna, Vinadiyak Pamanai  and Ambiga Geethayen Geethaya, more..

More reports on CB mond scam

Feb 11 (CT) Central Committee Member of JVP Wasantha Samarasinghe said that another internal report has been released on a probe into the alleged Rs. 32 billion CB bond scam. The report, he says, states that Perpetual Treasuries, through the CB Bonds transaction, had transferred Rs. 32 billion to another company owned by the same Board of Directors. He added that the report states that the PTL has carried out sell and buy deals with its holding company, Perpetual Capital Holdings. more..

Wigneswaran admits unfortunate incidents of the past broke Tamil-Muslim unity

Feb 11 (ENS) CM C.V. Wigneswaran, has admitted that some unfortunate incidents of the past had inflicted wounds on the Muslims which are yet to heal. He said this while addressing the Ezhuga Tamil (Arise Tamil) rally at Batticaloa. Batticaloa district have a substantial Muslim population. It was in a mosque in Kattankudy in Batticaloa district on Aug 3, 1990, that the LTTE massacred 143 Muslims while they were bent in prayer. more..

Protests against Ranil: Aussie Lankans reject Opposition call

Feb 11 (CT) The attempt by several opposition politicians to hold protests in the cities of Melbourne and Canberra, with the participation of Sri Lankans domiciled in Australia, against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, during his visit to that country, has fizzled out. Sri Lankans, living in Australia, have severely condemned and rejected the request made by opposition politicians to participate in protests. SL residents in Australia have said that by holding protests against PM of their own country, more..

CB Governor briefs Economic Management Committee

Feb 11 (DM) CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy has briefed the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management on the current state of the economy, outlining hardships that lay ahead. According to a minister who wished to remain anonymous, Governor, in his detailed briefing also dealt with issues relating to debt re-payment. In this case, govt is expected to an uphill task for the next few years. Govt is also compelled to restrict capital investments given the current financial constraints. more..

Constitutional reforms: President agreed to go the whole hog-civil society

Feb 11 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena and a group of nearly 50 civil society organizations have agreed that the proposed new constitution should be subjected to a referendum. Their stand is compatible with that of the UNP, main coalition partner in the govt strongly pushing for a brand new constitution in accordance with an understanding reached with the UNHRC. Although, they haven’t discussed a possible time frame, more..

Trump’s agri-marriage made in hell

Feb 11 (DM) The US’ new President Donald Trump a former reality television star, appears to be getting a reality check on constitutional issues. On Thursday night a 3-member US Circuit Court ruled unanimously to uphold the suspension of a travel ban imposed by Mr. Trump on visits to the US by people from seven Muslim-majority countries. During the Circuit Court hearings one of the judges quoted a famous or infamous tweet by Mr. Trump during the election campaign vowing more..

SAITM: beware of becoming a bite

Feb 11 (DM) What this country needs immediately is far-reaching reforms in education from preschool to higher education including uni & tertiary education. Court of Appeal decision on Jan 31 notwithstanding, anti SAITM protests continue on the streets and are given much coverage in media. IUSF and GMOA live on these protests. Within universities SAITM has been turned into a battle cry between competitive political groupings in establishing dominance over student population. more..

Upali W.: SL’s beloved home-grown tycoon

Feb 11 (DBS) Upali Wijewardene known widely as Upali was arguably SL’s first home-grown tycoon of the post–independence years who captured the popular imagination of the people at large. SL has produced several indigenous business magnates and industrialists of great repute but there was none quite like Upali W. He interacted on a higher plane with transnational captains of industry and commerce on equal terms. more..

Govt firm on police independence: IGP

Feb 11 (NR) IGP Pujith Jayasundara says the present administration led by President and PM do not interfere with the independence of the Police service. He said all issues faced by the police can now be solved promptly with the support of Independent Police Commission. IGP said President, PM and the govt decided that one of the notions of good governance govt is that the Police force should be independent. more..

Colombo Financial City Project: No impact on fisheries industry: NARA

Feb 11 (DN) National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) reassured that the construction work on the Colombo Financial City in the sea off Galle Face Green has had no impact on the fisheries industry or on fisheries activities in the Western, North Western or Southern Provinces. NARA on the directive of Minister Mahinda Amaraweera conducted a comprehensive investigation more..

Central Expressway Project fourth phase: Financial analysis to be carried out

Feb 11 (DM) Economic Affairs Committee will carry out a financial analysis on the fourth phase of the Central Expressway Project, RDA Chairman Nihal Sooriaarachchi said. It is reported that the financial analysis will result in a slight delay in the commencement of the construction of the fourth phase. Under the fourth phase of the Central Expressway project,  it has been planned to construct a section of highway between more..

'Sri Lankan education system is a Mongol'

Feb 11 (DM) Sri Lanka’s education system is a mongol or a retarded version, Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa said. He told Parliament that the system was retarded because while some schools have all the facilities several others are without. “When a school is developed by a Provincial Council it is brought under the Central Govt,” he said. He said SAITM was critical of doctors as a whole and GMOA. more..

LG Polls on old electoral system?

Feb 11 (CT) Although arrangements are being made to hold the Local Govt Elections, which have been postponed for nearly two years, according to a new electoral system, there are signs emerging of call to hold the LG Polls according to existing system. Such a situation has arisen because, if the Local Govt Elections are held under the new electoral system, the number of members of local govt institutions will increase from more..

President to appoint committee on SAITM

Feb 11 (NR) President Maithripala Sirisena is due to appoint a committee of experts to consult relevant stakeholders of the controversy surrounding the SAITM. President on his official twitter handle said the expert committee is expected to consult all parties and advise the government on further steps pertaining to SAITM. The Head of State engaged in a special discussion with members of GMOA today at Presidential Secretariat. more..

Central Bank Juggles options

Feb 11 (NS) Economists while agreeing with the CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy’s proposed options for debt servicing and the resurrection of the economy, say that there was little done in the way of improving investment climate and investor confidence. Professor of Economics at University of Colombo, Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne said that govt would face a largely uphill task in relation to implementing much needed reforms more..

SLMC delegates meet amidst internal strife

Feb 11 (Island) The delegates conference of the Yahapalana constituent, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) will take place tomorrow at the banquet hall of the BMICH amidst a simmering internal crisis. SLMC parliamentary group comprises six members, including one National List MP. The leadership had suspended party Chairman Basheer Segu Dawood recently accusing him of a clandestine plot to humiliate leader and other senior members. more..

SAITM issue: Deans propose resolution

Feb 11 (DM) Deans of medical faculties of eight universities have written to Minister Lakshman Kiriella outlining suggestions to resolve the issue involving the SAITM in Malabe and the standards of the medical education in the country. While stressing the need to mete out justice to the students currently studying at SAITM, the deans have pointed out that the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has to be the authorized more..

Polls Chief or NARA head?

Feb 11 (Island) Time was when the Sri Lankan polity suffered from polls diarrhoea, as it were. Rajapaksa govt would hold staggered provincial council and local govt polls almost annually so much so that people got fed up with them. Today, the country is suffering from polls constipation, so to speak. The Joint Opposition (JO) tells us that it does not think the much-delayed local govt polls will be held this year. Some of its heavyweights made this observation following more..

The Mangala-Chandrika-TNA constitution

Feb 11 (CT) UNP leadership and Chandrika Kumaratunga are trying perpetrate an unnecessary but quite drastic, risky surgery on the Sri Lankan body politic. They seek to effect such change to the Constitution that cannot be limited to reform through the procedure of amendments. But what could such change be? There is no SL commitment to a new Constitution made to UNHRC. Thanks to our neighboring friends, the only reference to a political solution is to implementation of 13th amend, more..

සිනමා ශිල්පිනී අයිරාංගනී සේරසිංහයන් 2

Pilot who questioned breathalyzer testing procedure found guilty

Feb 11 (CT) SriLankan Airlines Captain Sujith Jayasekara who challenged the hurriedly imposed and tainted breathalyzer test procedure prior to his departure to Bangkok in August of 2016, has been found guilty at the end of the lengthy eight month inquiry. The national carrier hurriedly organized breathalyzer tests to be carried out on their pilots in August 2016. This is after Capt. Upendra Ranaweera was earlier found to be under the influence of alcohol more..

Protest marches to demand release of Weerawansa begins tomorrow

Feb 11 (Island) The protest campaign to obtain bail for leader of the NFF Weerawansa who is in remand custody on corruption charges (alleged misuse of state vehicles) will be launched countrywide tomorrow. The theme of the rally will be Stop political witch hunt: Free Weerawansa. The first protest organised by NFF, Joint Opposition and some national organisations will commence tomorrow from the 18 th mile post Katunayake. It will be continued in Nuwara-Elya on 14th, more..

Health Ministry to recruit 1,500 field assistants to tackle dengue

Feb 11 (ST) Health Ministry has identified the lack of an efficient garbage management system as one of the key reasons for the recent hike in dengue cases in the country. Dr. Hasitha Tissera, National Coordinator for Dengue at Health Ministry, said there were multiple causes for the increase in the number of dengue patients, but the key factors behind the spike in the numbers of cases were the lack of awareness, the lack of efficient more..

Together abroad; apart back home

Feb 11 (DM) The other day a young dashing purohita in yahapalanaya boarded a Colombo-bound plane at the Dubai airport with a fair and lovely one at his heels. The cute one, they say, is a provincial member from a constituency close to the city. The young purohita was on his way back home after a visit to the land of Kiwis. It had so happened that both of them had found themselves in Dubai at the same time and travelled back home together on the same plane. more..

Long delayed Nurses faculty affiliated to Colombo University launched

Feb 11 (Island) The govt has finally given its consent to establish a nurses’ faculty affiliated to the University of Colombo. Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) sources said that the relevant gazette dated Jan 18, 2017 had been issued to pave the way for the project. They said that the GNOA had been pushing for the setting up of the nurses’ faculty for some time. Sources alleged that the multi-billion rupee tender for the project hadn’t been awarded in 2016 in spite of more..

SAITM CEO runs for life?

Feb 11 (CT) Amidst investigations into the incident in which the CEO of SAITM was shot at by two gunmen, the CEO, Dr. Sameera Senaratne, has gone abroad. The Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital confirmed that the CEO is not in the country. The Mulleriyawa Police OIC stated that the Police are aware that Dr. Senaratne is abroad. He had however not given the Police any advance intimation of his plans to go abroad, more..

Sri Lankan minister’s bull wins him a car

Feb 11 (DC) It was another historic moment for the Tamils separated by the Palk Strait when the Sri Lankan Tamil and minister, Senthil Tondaiman, won a Maruti Swift car and a native cow - both bonanza prizes - for the best bull in the internationally famous Alanganallur jallikattu. Alanganallur, was the first epicentre for the Tamil Spring which brought jallikattu back to the people. Local people had gathered at this village first for a protest demanding restoration of jallikattu, more..

Sons of Divulapitiya soil rise against environment sins

Feb 11 (ST) Soil mining at the controversial Akaragama site in Divulapitiya has come to a halt following a presidential directive. Mining activities were suspended after Presidential Secretariat officials visited the site for inspection on Wednesday. Prior to the order being issued, officials of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, the Central Environmental Authority and the Divulapitiya Divisional Secretariat, accompanied by the police, inspected the area. more..

Loopholes in regulations monitoring medical testing for employment abroad

Feb 11 (Island) Health Ministry said the govt regulations to monitor the facilities available in private sector health institutions, where migrant workers undergo medical examinations prior to leaving the country for employment were minimal. Other than the Gulf countries there were several others which required medical checks and certification from their prospective employees. Gulf countries have their own designated medical more..

Two foreigners held in bludgeoning death of Sri Lankan man in Kedah

Feb 11 (Bernama) Police have detained two foreigners to facilitate investigations into the death of their Sri Lankan friend at an estate off Jalan Sidam Kiri near here on Thursday. Sri Lankan and Indian nationals, aged 27 and 30, are being investigated for murder. Initial police investigations revealed that the body of the 49-year-old victim, believed to have been bludgeoned with a stone, was found in Padang Buluh Estate at about 10.20pm. Police believe there was an argument more..

Wijeyadasa demands Rs. 500m from company under public trustee

Feb 11 (CT) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has found himself at the centre of a new controversy over a potential conflict of interest case involving the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL), commonly known as Lake House. Colombo District Court, in 2011, ordered the state owned media institution to pay a sum of Rs. 500 million to Rajapakshe, who was then a MP of the UNP. The court gave the ex-parte order following a defamation case filed by him against more..

Legislator disappointed by low women participation in top slots

Feb 11 (Island) A legislator yesterday said he was disappointed about the very low women participation in top slots in state and private sector ventures and blamed a large section of SL society, which was negative-minded about women holding hot seats in the state and corporate world for the situation. "Of course, all of us are aware about the behaviour of some male MPs when their female colleagues stand-up to talk, but this is just a more..

Man arrested after unauthorized entry of President’s House

Feb 11 (AD) An individual has been arrested for allegedly attempting to enter the official residence of President Maithripala Sirisena in Keppetipola Mawatha, Colombo 7 without authorization. He had reportedly attempted to enter the President’s house at around 9.30am this morning saying he needed employment. During questioning, the arrested suspect, Danuka Vishvajith, had said that he had served as a member of the Sri J'pura Kotte Municipal Council from 2011 to 2016.  more..

Foreign exits hit Rs 88B

Feb 11 (CT) Foreign exits from the government securities market (GSM) hit the Rs 88 billion mark in the 17 consecutive weeks ending Wednesday (8) equivalent to double the Government of Sri Lanka's (GoSL's) Samurdhi allocation for the current year. Such exits are met from Central Bank foreign reserves so as not to cause depreciative pressure on the rupee in the foreign exchange (FX) market. As a result, last month alone, the country's foreign reserves fell by US$ 568.01 million more..

Scorched earth: Farmer misery worsens

Feb 11 (ST) Hundered of farmer families have abandoned their lands seeking refuge in dirt camps, their financial debts have increased, and there is not much hope for heavy rains. Tales of crop failures abound as the drought continues to cause misery. The low rainfall across the island has severly disrupted hydropower generation, domestic water supplies, and agriculture. 581,110 people have been bady affected in the island. more..

Five firms in Myanmar to export rice to SL

Feb 11 (EM) Five companies have won contracts for the export of 50,000 tonnes of rice to Sri Lanka by June, according to the Myanmar Rice Federation. Commerce minister Dr Than Myint held talks with a delegation led by the Sri Lanka ambassador to Myanmar, KWND Karunaratne, at his office in Nay Pyi Taw on January 23 and signed a memorandum of understanding on rice exports. An MRF official said: “We invited companies to submit bids for rice exports to Sri Lanka. more..