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President blesses D.S. Senanayake college

Feb 11 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena said at the 50th anniversary commemoration celebrations, at the school's premises yesterday, that he had no hesitation in pronouncing " blessings on the institution which is a living symbol of the national mission initiated by the Teacher/Principal/Founder, the late R.I.T. Alles. May this school continue to produce more sons for the country in the coming century too." The much reputed institution's Golden Jubilee celebrations more..

SAITM is not the solution to the doctor shortage: JVP

Feb 11 (Island) JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa said in parliament that the SAITM was not the solution to the problem of shortage of doctors in the country. Participating in the debate on Regulations under National Medicines Regulatory Authority Act, MP said: "There is a dearth of qualified doctors in the country but SAITM would not be able to fill that shortage since its output is not qualified enough to treat patients. more..

Over 3,000 MT of rice distributed to Lanka Sathosa outlets

Feb 11 (DN) Lanka Sathosa Chairman Rohantha Athukorala said that 3,000 MT of imported rice had been distributed to Lanka Sathosa outlets last week. He said that 20 to 25% of the country’s rice needs is supplied through Lanka Sathosa after the controlled prices came in to force. “Therefore, the supply of rice Sathosa has to be increased to meet the increasing consumer demand at Sathosa outlets,” he added. “Consumers complained of a shortage of rice supply in the market, more..

First penumbral lunar eclipse today

Feb 11 (NR) The first penumbral lunar eclipse for the year was witnessed today. During this penumbral lunar eclipse, the Earth’s main shadow does not cover the Moon. As the Earth’s shadow misses the Moon during a penumbral lunar eclipse, there are no other locations on Earth where the Moon appears partially or totally eclipsed during this event. A penumbral lunar eclipse can be a bit hard to see as the shadowed part is only a little bit fainter than the rest of the Moon. more..

Govt to broad-base education: PM

Feb 11 (DM) Govt hopes to give schools the freedom to choose the subjects they need to teach in their respective institutions, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said at Kandy's Trinity College prize giving. He said the govt might focus on introducing subjects such as dress designing and hair dressing to schools. “This way students studying for the A/L could learn the basics before attending vocational training centers. more..

Way forward for SAITM

Feb 12 (Island) We are glad that the deans of the medical faculties of eight state universities have infused a voice of sanity into the prevailing madness over the SAITM controversy. It was reported yesterday that they had a brief meeting with Minister Lakshman Kiriella at the parliamentary complex where they handed a letter which stressed, among other matters, that Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) must remain the authorized institution for regulating the standards of doctors more..

CBK, War crimes and The rule of law

Feb 12 (SL) It is reported that President Chandrika Kumaratunga (CBK) has stated that there is no need for a war crimes probe and that the need is for a new constitution. It is a major flip-flop for someone who publicly cried at the Justice K. Palakidnar Memorial Oration on 24.07.2011 over her son’s and daughter’s comments after seeing the Channel Four documentary. Her son sobbed on the phone saying “how ashamed he was to call himself a Sinhalese and a Lankan.” more..

Political parties ride on anti-SAITM wave for political mileage : SAITM awaits fair solution

Feb 12 (SO) The uproar over the judgment by the Appeal Court on Jan 31, directing the SL Medical Council to provide provisional registration for graduates of the Medical Faculty of the SAITM not only created a huge debate over medical education in the country, but made a point to expose the duplicity of certain politicians on issues concerning the nation. It was evident during the week long debate over SAITM judgment more..

SAITM: Towards consensus on medical standards

Feb 12 (SO) With signs of momentum towards a resolution of the SAITM problem, the report of the Presidential committee to study the SAITM issue will be awaited by all. Leave aside the fact that a medical degree can be a matter of life and death, a degree qualification for any of the scientific and technical professions must have a watertight guarantee of quality if society is to get the best from it. That guarantee of quality is critical if any profession is to make its best contribution to more..

Bloodied footprints and LG elections

Feb 12 (CT) While the Joint Opposition continues staging the protest demonstrations against the govt that we have editorially warned on several occasions it would do, the fifth columnists of the pro-MR faction continue to resort to its clandestine efforts to destabilize the govt and make every possible attempt to reduce its votes before the LG elections are held. All of this of course is aimed at de-legitimizing the govt in the eyes of the public whilst simultaneously trying more..

'New Laws for Port City'

Feb 12 (CT) Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama, said new laws will be passed to cover the economic criteria such as exchange rates at Colombo Port City, but when it comes to criminal offences, general law will be applied. He said Port City will have desalination plants and renewable energy in case of a shortfall in water and power and that there will be no geopolitical conflicts. more..

Medical misadventures

Feb 12 (ST) The issue of a private Medical College refuses to go away. It seems the flavour of at least the week gone by after undergraduates marched the streets facing police water-cannon. Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) is due to go to a superior court, the medical trade union (GMOA) is howling in protest and political parties are joining hands to offer stubborn resistance to Govt moves to allow fee-paying students at private institutions to become doctors. The public watches in dismay. more..

Crème de la crème at crossroads

Feb 12 (ST) My dear doctors, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you are fighting amongst yourselves over a medical college in Malabe and about who should be recognised as doctors – and who shouldn’t be. From what we have heard so far, all you seem to be doing is calling each other names and getting nowhere! We are being told that your Council had decided that this medical college should not be recognised, after many yrs & after hundreds of students have passed through its doors. more..


Angoda political psychiatry case before Medical Council

Feb 12 (Island) Last week Harsha Tilakasiri a former personal staff member and valet to minister Champika Ranawaka made a formal complaint to the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Medical Council, Professor Carlo Fonseka, alleging that he had been given treatment against his will at the Angoda mental hospital for a mental illness that he never had. The translation of the letter he submitted to the Medical Council goes as follows: I was an executive chef at Water’s Edge Hotel and functioned as more..

SAITM controversy heats up

Feb 12 (SO) Arjuna Mahendran has not managed to steer away from controversy, even after he bid adieu to his most high-profile post; that of former Governor of the Central Bank. Presidential Commission appointed to probe the alleged bond scam has commenced work: The members of the Commission held their first sitting at the Justice Ministry this week. Attorney General’s Department also said it would appoint a panel of lawyers to assist the members of Commission during the probe. more..

COPE comes hard on culprits

Feb 12 (CT) 15 public enterprises had caused a massive loss of Rs 110 billion to the national economy during the past three years, said the Chairman of the COPE Sunil Handunnetti presenting the third COPE report to Parliament. And in-depth study of the report shows that govt institutions have spent public money for political purposes and non-economic activities. The problem is that the law is not implemented against those who are more..

Eight weeks of torture in South Africa

Feb 12 (Island) The eights weeks of torture in South Africa is finally over. If Sri Lanka’s series whitewash over Australia last year gave us any false assurance that all is well with our cricket, we have been just given a rude wake up call. It’s all back to square one. The bilateral series against Bangladesh next month will perhaps open us up to harsher realities. Whitewashed in Tests, whitewashed in ODIs, many Sri Lankans boarded the flight from Johannesburg yesterday with their confidence shattered. more..

Inoka bowls SL women to victory

Feb 12 (CT) With one of best bowling efforts by skipper Inoka Ranaweera, the Sri Lanka Women's team managed to register a comfortable win by eight wickets over Zimbabwe at the ICC Women's qualifiers played at the NCC yesterday. Zimbabwe elected to bat first and SL bowlers Inoka Ranaweera, Chamari Polgampola and Chamari Atapattu dismantled the Zimbabwean batting line-up picking up eight wickets amongst themselves as Zimbabwe were bowled them out for 149. more..

'Chandimal should go back to club cricket'

Feb 12 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal has been advised to go and work on his game in club cricket by Sri Lanka's chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, after the tour of South Africa concluded with a 5-0 ODI defeat. Chandimal endured a difficult time in South Africa, where his highest score was 36 in 12 international innings. He was eventually dropped from the ODI XI for the last two matches. more..

Series took its toll: Coach Graham Ford

Feb 12 (ST) The turnaround between tours are so severe that Sri Lanka who left South African soil last night will play Australia in a three-match T20 series, in less than 96 hours after arriving Down Under. The scheduling has been so intense that half of the T20 squad left straight to Australia from South Africa, with hardly any time to recover mentally and physically after facing South African hostilities over a two months period. At the post match press conference Graham Ford more..

Nipun fights Selector’s membership bias with performances

Feb 12 (ST) What does a budding batsman have to do to catch the eye of a National Selector? Is it the runs he scores or, is it the club he represents? Bloomfield Cricket & Athletics Club Skipper, Nipun Karunanayake, a product of Nalanda, has all the essential ingredients that is required. A leading batsman in the Premier Division with an aggregate of 926 runs to his credit, with 3 centuries and 4 half-centuries, Nipun lost a golden opportunity to reach the coveted 1,000-run mark this year. more..

SriLankan Airlines fails in new bid to lease aircraft to PIA

Feb 12 (ST) SriLankan Airlines lost a fresh bid this week to win a Pakistan Airlines (PIA) A 330 aircraft wet lease tender following the end of its 6-month commercial contract of the first aircraft lease in a three-A 330-deal inked in August last year. These developments had followed tough negotiations by the top brass of the national carrier over the past few weeks with their PIA counterparts who repeatedly requested for a discount on more..

China tells India to stay off its Indian ocean colony, Sri Lanka

Feb 12 (Forbes) After claiming South China Sea to be its own sea, telling America to stay off its islands, China is reaching for the Indian Ocean, telling India to stay off its own colony, Sri Lanka. That’s something investors in Southeast Asian markets should keep a wary eye on, as it opens yet another front between the two Asian giants, raising the geopolitical risk of investing in the region. Markets, for the time being, seem to be ignoring these risks. China’s And India’s Equities more..

UN praises Sri Lanka’s commitment to sustainable development

Feb 12 (NR) Sri Lanka’s commitment to sustainable development and ending climate change has come under praise from the United Nations as the country works towards the international community’s steadfast support and understanding for nation building. UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman speaking on behalf of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at Sri Lanka’s 69th Anniversary of Independence celebrations noted the island nation’s commitment to more..

Jayasuriya back in business: SLC CEO

Feb 12 (ST) Bringing an end to all speculation about the tendering of the resignation of SL National Cricket Committee Chairman Sanath Jayasuriya, now it is reported he is as usual back in business. There were speculations on Thursday that the four-member Cricket Selection Committee, headed by Sanath Jayasuriya had resigned citing interference. The news item stated that the reason for the Jayasuriya resignation more..

Knight in shining armour

Feb 12 (ST) In the latter part of the 1970s, serving as a cub reporter at the now-defunct Sun newspaper, the Ministry of Public Administration was one of my beats. While the public service was still in its heyday politics was slowly (but surely) creeping in. On one occasion I walked into the office of the Secretary to the Ministry, in an era of Permanent Secretaries now gone-by. D.B.I.P.S. Siriwardena, at his desk, got up to greet me. He was dressed in full white – nicely creased short sleeved more..

EDB to support branded exports

Feb 12 (SO) Export Development Board (EDB) is helping to organise into a cluster, apparel exporters who have invested in and developed their own brands as part of an initiative to support their overseas marketing efforts. Chairperson of the EDB, Indira Malwatte said the clustering approach will help strengthen the position of apparel manufacturers who have developed their own brands to penetrate overseas markets. “The EDB has clustered all apparel brands,” she said. more..

Karuna leaves SLFP, forms TUPF

Feb 12 (ST) Former Eastern Commander of the Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, launched a new political party, Tamil United Freedom Party (TUFP) in Batticaloa yesterday, breaking away from the SLFP, in which he was Vice President during the previous regime. Announcing the inauguration of the new party in Focus Hall, Batticaloa, more..

13 striking pictures of Sri Lanka's Navam Perahera Festival

Feb 12 (PT) Monks, drummers, fire stuntmen, dancers and some 50 trained elephants, mostly from central part of the island, thronged into Colombo from various regions of Sri Lanka to participate in the city’s biggest two day annual Buddhist procession known as Navam Perahera ‘street pageant’ starting from February 9 and 10, which was first held in 1979. Here we look at 14 visuals showcasing the vibrant and dynamic event. more..

Mahindra enters into 3 new businesses in SL

Feb 12 (Island) Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, a part of the USD 17.8 billion Mahindra Group based in India, last week announced its entry into three new businesses in SL with the debut of Truck & Bus, Construction Equipment and Powerol businesses here. The company will set up these three new businesses in partnership with Ideal Motors Ltd, its long standing partner of over eight years, the announcement said. Mahindra has strengthened its position in Sri Lanka over the last 8 years more..

Bond issue: AG appoints 9-member team to assist Commission of Inquiry

Feb 12 (ST) A 9-member Attorney General’s Department team headed by Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera, has been appointed to assist the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) and to look into irregularities in respect of the issuance of Treasury Bonds (TB) including the controversial Central Bank TB issue of Feb 2015. Team comprising senior officials of AG’s Dept, were nominated by AG Jayantha Jayasuriya, more..

Dy foreign minister raises concerns over Trump’s economic policies

Feb 12 (wsws) US President Donald Trump’s trade threats and nationalist policies have shocked sections of the ruling elite in Sri Lanka as the island-nation faces an increasingly desperate economic crisis. Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva gave voice to these concerns in an address to the National Chamber of Commerce annual meeting late last month. Trump’s policies, de Silva said, could dampen the global trade flow as never before and would seriously impact on SL’s economy. more..

Vaccination mandatory for Hajj pilgrims

Feb 12 (SO) Health Ministry has made it mandatory for all Hajj pilgrims to be vaccinated against brain fever and meningococcal meningitis to prevent the entry of meningococcal meningitis to Sri Lanka. “We have made this vaccine available at all port health offices so that we can prevent the entry of meningococcal meningitis to Sri Lanka. Therefore, we have made it compulsory that all Hajj Pilgrims to receive this Meningococcal vaccination before departure,” more..

Who shot at Dr. Senaratne?

Feb 12 (CT) The time was past 8:30 p.m. The telephone at the security office of the SAITM University of Malabe started ringing. The caller said, "I am Dr. Sameera Senaratne. Two persons shot at my vehicle and escaped." He is the CEO of SAITM. Dr. Senaratne reported the incident to one of his police friends too. The friend informed the incident to the acting OIC of the Mulleriyawa Police Station. A police team was quickly dispatched to more..

Prez Commission report on Ashraff’s demise sought

Feb 12 (Island) SLMC Chairman Basheer Segudawood has requested President Sirisena to immediately release Justice Weerasekara report on the demise of the founding leader of the party M.H.M. Ashraff in Nov, 2000 as a result of an accident involving an SLAF chopper. Former Minister Segudawood alleged that though Justice L.K.G. Weerasekera had submitted his report within the stipulated period to the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga, it was yet to be released. more..

JVP raises issue of step-motherly treatment to Navy

Feb 12 (Island) JVP demanded to know from the govt whether any decision had been taken to reduce the number of naval cadres and to limit the recruitment by the Navy. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the Navy started a navy patrolmen division with 25 cadres in 1984 with the intention of deploying them in land operations and assisting other security forces on amphibious operations and ground combat duties and now has evolved to a division of around 5000 cadres. more..

Is Bond money laundered?

Feb 12 (CT) Speculation is rife in Colombo's corporate circles about a plan to restructure SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) venture featuring the Texas Pacific Group (TPG) of America as the private collaborator. It is learnt that TPG has already been doing business in Sri Lanka with an investment of US$ 117 million in the Union Bank (UB) in Colombo. TPG is predominantly a US-based more..

JO opposes state property sales

Feb 12 (CT) Joint Opposition has decided to hold an island-wide series of public protest demonstrations as a national campaign against the arbitrary sale of govt property. Former President Rajapaksa is expected to add his weight to the demonstrations. First demonstration is scheduled for 27 Feb. MP Bandula Gunawardena said that it was decided to hold the first protest on this particular day because it was the day on which the govt's alleged Treasury Bond scam at the CB took place. more..

Akaragama soil mining: Permit holder vows to appeal ban

Feb 12 (ST) Two permits issued for soil mining at the controversial soil excavation site in Akaragama, Divulapitiya has been cancelled, Acting Director General of Geological Surveys and Mines Bureau, Sajjana De Silva said. But, he said the permit holders can appeal within 14 days from the date of cancellation and the final decision will be taken by the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment. The controversy over the site developed after Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake visited more..