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‘I will continue to be honest while in the govt’

Feb 2 (SO) What do we make of the unilateral declaration by Ven. Rathna Thera that he will act independently in Parliament? Ven. Thera was literally unseen for over a year before he broke his silence on Jan 26 to say that he has decided so, although he would not shift camps, yet. Even after a week into his announcement, everyone is still in a dilemma as to what to expect next. Many predictions have been made. more..

Political influence in destruction of Muthurajawela wetlands

Feb 2 (SL) This year’s World Wetlands Day has chosen Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction as the official theme for the year 2017. Naturally a wetland plays a key role in maintaining the balance of the environment reducing the effects of floods, storing water that could be used during dry seasons and even absorbing harmful substances in the air and water. Wetlands are vital for the sustenance of industries such as agriculture, fresh water fisheries and even the pharmaceutical industry. more..

Burning Birds (Davena Vihagun): Film Review

Feb 2 (HR) Sanjeewa Pushpakumara's drama, about a poor Sri Lankan villager's struggle for her family's survival after her husband's death, bows at Rotterdam after its appearances in Busan and Tokyo. In 2015, a French director won the Cannes Film Festival's top prize with a film inspired by Sri Lanka's contemporary political troubles; now, the South Asian country's very own filmmakers have finally offered their own riposte. Revolving around a war widow's near-complete more..

SAITM Issue: JVP Press Conference

SAITM MBBS graduates on par with state medical graduates

Feb 2 (CT) The most popular and the main form of clinical training of a medical undergraduate is the apprenticeship model of clinical training. Here medical students follow the Consultants during their ward rounds and the teaching and learning take place around the in-house patients in the form of bedside teaching or ward classes, said Dr. Deepthi Samarage, Professor and Head of the Dept of Paediatrics at SAITM responding to the question of clinical training for SAITM medical students. more..

Green light for SAITM

Feb 2 (DN) Where the statute prescribed the manner in which the statutory power has to be exercised, the power must be exercised in that manner alone. If the exercise of power is in violation of section 19C of the Medical Ordinance (as amended) it cannot be regarded as an act done in pursuance of the Ordinance. If the administrative body created by the statute acts beyond the powers vested on the body by the statute such an act is ultra vires and the courts have a duty to quash it. more..

The perils of traitorisation

Feb 2 (FT) When the LTTE resolved to kill Dr. Neelan Thiruchelvam 18 years ago, its weapon of choice was a suicide bomber, drawn from its elite karum puligal or Black Tiger cadre.  The unit was revered within the separatist group, accorded the highest honours the Tigers could bestow in life and in death. LTTE Leader Prabhakaran’s genius lay in his ability to inspire a culture of martyrdom in his guerrilla fighters. more..

New faces in Australia T20 squad for SL

Feb 2 (CI) Michael Klinger is in line for an international debut at the age of 36 after being named in Australia's T20 squad to take on Sri Lanka in three matches this month. Wicketkeeper Tim Paine was also picked, nearly six years after he last represented Australia in any format, while the uncapped fast bowler Jhye Richardson and allrounder Ashton Turner are also hoping for debuts. However, the selectors could not find a place for the Big Bash League's leading run scorer for more..

Sri Lanka's missing octopus

Feb 2 (CI) Sri Lanka missed Angelo Mathews' batting in the first ODI, but in the second, they missed his freakish slip catching off the spinners as well. Dhananjaya de Silva stood at slip to the bowling of Lakshan Sandakan, but could not hold on to the low chance off Faf du Plessis' edge in the 23rd over. The batsman would go on to hit 43 further runs, and importantly, forged a 117-run stand for the fifth wicket with David Miller. David Miller was 39 off 52 balls at one stage, more..

South Africa hammers Sri Lanka in 2nd ODI

Feb 2 (CI) Faf du Plessis' velvet-smooth 105, and David Miller's mature, unbeaten 117 - replete with finishing fireworks - sent South Africa to an imposing 307 that SL would always struggle to chase, and in the end, fell a whopping 121 runs short of. The batting was the basis of South Africa's dominance, but the bowling was disciplined as well, and the fielding was not short of sublime. SL's openers fell to two spectacular catches more..

EU – SL investor dialogue held to boost trade

Feb 2 (CT) A meeting was organized by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade to address outstanding matters concerning investors from the European Union. SL side was led by Minister Malik Samarawickrama, assisted by his Ministry Secretary Chandani Wijewardhana, Agency for Economic Development Managing Director Mangala Yapa, BOI Chairman and Director General respectively, Upul Jayasuriya and more..

Sri Lanka Telecom gets deal to provide high-speed internet to Govt

Feb 2 (FT) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has gotten a key project to provide high-speed internet to the Govt. Govt said the Cabinet approved a proposal to award the contract to SLT to provide high-speed and secure internet connections to public institutions. SLT will be responsible for providing 860 Govt institutions with high-speed internet service connections under this contract which covers the first phase of digitalisation of State institutions under the Digital Sri Lanka project. more..

Corrupt Vs Clean: Ravi K-Kabir battle shifts to Lankaputhra Bank

Feb 2 (FT) The apparent battle between Ministers Ravi Karunanayake and Kabir Hashim has shifted to Lankaputhra Development Bank (LDB) with contentious opinions over the Chairmanship of the state bank. Public Enterprise Development Ministry held by Hahsim has instructed the Finance Ministry to hold the appointment of the new Chairman Ruwan Gallage. Gallage was appointed to the position of the Chairman by more..

Aid to settle Lankan Tamils on downslide

Feb 2 (TOI) India's financial support to Sri Lanka has reduced in the past two years. The actual support given towards rehabilitation of the internally displaced Tamils in the island nation is lower than that mentioned in the budget. In 2016-17, the budget estimate was '230 crore towards financial support for Sri Lanka, which includes reconstruction expenses for Tamil refugees, who returned home after the civil war ended. But the revised estimates show that the Centre is likely to transfer more..

Sweet revenge for Proteas – win 1st U19 ODI

Feb 2 (DN) South Africa gained sweet revenge from Sri Lanka for their defeat in the Tri-Nations Under 19 final when they won the first under 19 one-day international by sevens at Oudtshoorn on Wednesday. Krishan Arachchige was the only batsman to make any worthwhile contribution with a half- century off 79 balls in Sri Lanka’s total of 214 in 49 overs. South Africa chased down the target with two overs to spare despite losing opener Jesse Christensen to the first ball of the innings. more..

If allegations proved Minister Harrison offers to resign

Feb 2 (DM) Minister P. Harrison said that he would resign from his ministerial portfolio and quit parliament if it was proved that the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) had swindled even five cents. He made these remarks in response to allegations by the Joint Opposition that he was responsible for a loss of Rs. 10 billion to the State by allowing questionable deals to take place at the PMB. At a media briefing, flanked by more..

Train runs to Kadugannawa minus its carriages and faulty engine it was towing

Feb 2 (Island) The engine of the morning train Senkadagala Menike bound for Colombo Fort railway station that left Kandy at 6.30 a.m. yesterday reached the Kadugannawa Railway station minus its carriages and a faulty engine it was towing. At Kadugannawa station the driver of the engine came to know that the engine was detached from the carriages with the defective engine. Engine reversed to Henawala more than 2 km from Kadugannawa to re-couple it to defective engine & carriages. more..

Lanka Coal to get new Chairman this week

Feb 2 (DN) New chairman to Lanka Coal Company is expected to be appointed within this week, Energy Ministry Secretary Suren Batagoda said. A new board had been appointed but it has not been able to take any action as the appointment of a chairman has been pending since the old board and chairman were removed on Jan 17. Change in management came amidst allegations that the controversial coal tender purchases in 2016 resulted in the govt accruing a loss of Rs 4,145 mil that year. more..

Private sector should go global, says PM

Feb 2 (FT) Fast-tracked development should be based on sound policy and plans, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said while outlining plans to establish new investment zones in Bingiriya and Puttalam to spur economic growth and give local companies the chance to build international projects. Hailing the start of the second phase of the Central Expressway, he recalled that under the previous Govt private sector was not given the chance more..

Sri Lanka seeks closer relations with Africa

Feb 2 (EN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who will open an embassy during an official visit to Ethiopia, headquarters of the African Union (AU), said SL is seeking closer ties with Africa. Samaraweera had talks with the Speaker of the Ethiopian Parliament, Abadula Gemeda, at the Ethiopian Parliament in Addis Ababa, and was scheduled to call on President of Ethiopia, Mulatu Teshome. He explained the rationale behind SL opening a resident Diplomatic Mission in Ethiopia, more..

Both sides should act responsibly: Minister

Feb 2 (DM) Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara today said he regretted if Divulapitiya Divisional Secretary had to face any inconvenience because of the phone conversation with Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake. Issuing a statement after meeting between Sri Lanka Administrative Services Association (SLASA) officers, Minister said it was the responsibility of both the Govt and the State employees to look at the situation in an impartial manner without being aggressive. more..

China's Silk Road push stirs resentment and protest in Sri Lanka

Feb 2 (Reuters) China signed a deal with SL late last year to further develop port of Hambantota and build a huge industrial zone nearby, a key part of Beijing's ambitions to create a modern-day Silk Road across Asia. Agreement was welcome relief for the island nation of 20 million people. As they try to reduce the country's debts, officials in Colombo see China's plans to include SL on its One Belt, One Road more..

Karu first Sri Lankan to get highest decoration from Japan

Feb 2 (FT) Govt of Japan yesterday formally presented The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya as recognition for his significant contribution in promoting bilateral relations between Japan and Sri Lanka. The original annoucement of the award was made on 3 Nov 2016 and a congratulatory message was sent by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Fumio Kishida following the announcement, stating: “Please accept my sincerest congratulations more..

620,000 low, mid-income houses by 2019

Feb 2 (CT) The Cabinet approved the appointment of a Special Task Force, backed by a Rs 24 million operational budget to oversee the construction of 620,000 houses for low and middle income families by 2019. "This special task force will be established under the Treasury, as a limited liability company, under the purview of the Treasury Secretary. A land bank will also be established to cover all land that will come under the Special Task Force," Cabinet memorandum submitted by more..

Attempt on lawmaker’s life: Norway mum

Feb 2 (Island) The Norwegian embassy refrained from responding to serious accusations that a Norwegian or Norwegians of SL origin had been involved in an alleged assassination attempt on TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran in January, this year. Minister Champika Ranawaka has alleged that Norway based Tamil diaspora elements conspired to have Sumanthiran assassinated during a recent visit to Jaffna peninsula. more..

Eight civilians murdered in Mirusuvil: Convicted Army Officer appeals to SC

Feb 2 (FT) A divisional Bench of five Judges of the Supreme Court yesterday fixed for argument in June the appeal filed by a former Army Officer Sunil Ratnayake against his conviction and sentence by the Colombo High Court in the massacre of eight civilians in Mirusuvil village, Jaffna in 2000. The Bench comprised Justices B.P. Aluwihare, Sisira J. De Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena, Upaly Abeyrathne and Anil Gooneratne. Court fixed the matter for argument on 5,6,7,12,13, 14 June. more..

Sri Lanka rejects 40,000t of diesel from Vitol for failing quality test

Feb 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has rejected a consignment of 40,000 tonnes of diesel supplied by oil trading giant Vitol, after it failed standard tests, Minister Chandima Weerakkody said on Wednesday. "I took the decision to reject as it is not up to our specifications," Weerakkody told Reuters. However, he did not say which specifications the fuel failed to meet. "We are working with the customer to resolve this matter,” a spokeswoman for Vitol in London said. more..

Northern Provincial Council rejects Sustainable Development Bill

Feb 2 (ENS) The Northern Provincial Council (NCP) on Tuesday unanimously rejected the Central govt’s bid to centralize decision making on national economic policy and strategies through the Sustainable Development Strategies Bill. NPC felt that the bill is eating into the already limited powers provinces enjoy under the 13 th Amendment of the constitution, Leader of the Opposition in NPC, S Thavarajah, said. more..

60 death row prisoners’ sentence commuted to life imprisonment

Feb 2 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena recently commuted the sentence of 60 prisoners on death row to life imprisonment after Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe submitted to the Head of State, the recommendations of the specialist committee headed by Retired Supreme Court Judge Nimal Dissanayake. The President’s decision will be implemented on the 69th Independence Day on Feb 4 and Commissioner General of Prisons had been informed about it. more..

AAVA gangsters were students

Feb 2 (CT) The five sword-wielding AAVA gangsters arrested by Police in Jaffna on Tuesday were yesterday identified by Police as being senior students, aged 18 to 21, attending a northern school and private tutorial institute in Jaffna. The motorbike riding gang on Monday carried out a cinematic-style attack on a shop in Nallur, gutting it using a petrol bomb. They also attacked motorists and pedestrians who were passing by the venue at the time of the attack. more..

Now it’s black van abductions?

Feb 2 (CT) Maharagama Police have launched an extensive investigation into the abduction of the Vice-President of Telecom Manpower Association, Sujeewa Mangala, three days ago, by as yet unidentified men who had tied up his feet and legs and abducted him in a black van on 28 January. Mangala told the Maharagama Police that his hands and legs had been tied up and that he was taken in the van on a trip that lasted more..

Vital role of wetlands in battle against climate change

Feb 2 (DM) Today is World Wetland’s Day with this year’s theme being Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction. A wetland or marshland as we know it in SL, is a land area saturated with water, permanently or seasonally. Thus it becomes an important ecosystem. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil. Environment scientists say wetlands play several roles in more..

Grievances and resolution: The question of true dimensions

Feb 2 (DM) Dr Nirmala Chandrahasan (LLB, LLM, PhD, Attorney-at-Law) in an article titled “National Question and grievances faced by a minority’ (which she claims is a response to a piece I wrote, Let’s make Sampanthan’s New Year wish come true offers some sober reflections on the issue of grievances, lists what she considers the most important and makes recommendations for their resolution. They warrant discussion. Nirmala begins by quoting the LLRC report: more..

Ford excited by batting talent despite Sri Lanka collapse

Feb 2 (CI) Despite Sri Lanka slumping to a second big defeat in the ODI series against South Africa, coach Graham Ford found a silver lining from their performance in Durban. Surprisingly, it was in their batting, even though Sri Lanka have yet to post a total over 200 in the series. "I was quite excited with what I saw today. Unfortunately none of our batsmen converted starts but they certainly showed they have got more..

MR’ s acolytes want old regime back for survival: CBK

Feb 2 (DM) The role played by Chandrika Kumaratunga in changing the political landscape in Jan 2015 was praiseworthy. In this exercise there is no doubt that she had to face great danger in undertaking such a risk. Upon the completion of two years of unity govt it is opportune to discuss issues that had surfaced in the recent past. Former President expressed her views on such issues, including the actions of the govt and more..

Finance Ministry trying to bend laws for Negombo importer: Association

Feb 2 (DM) The Finance Ministry was trying to grant permission to a businessman to import 2,500 vehicles parts to be re-assembled here for three years, against the rules and regulation that govern importing of vehicles, Vehicle Importers’ Association said. They said permission had been given to a vehicle spare part importer in Negombo to import any type of vehicles from any country with a 70% duty concession. more..

Video: Special certificate a must for bus drivers from June 1: DMT

Feb 2 (DM) All SLTB and private passenger bus drivers must possess a special driving certificate issued after a special training provided by the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) with effect from June 1, Motor Traffic Department Commissioner General Jagath Chandrasiri said. This would be along with the driving licence, he said. Gazette notification related to passenger transport had been issued on February 6, 2016. more..

GL wants to know why terrorists not charged under PTA

Feb 2 (Island) Alleging that five former LTTE cadres arrested in connection with an alleged attempt to assassinate TNA lawmaker M.A. Sumanthiran had been produced before the Kilinochchi Magistrate and District judge and remanded on a charge of possessing explosives and narcotics instead of under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), former Minister G.L. Peiris said govt should explain its position more..

No Sri Lankans stranded at US airports: Govt

Feb 2 (AD) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today said that there have been no reports of Sri Lankan nationals being stranded at any airports in the United States, in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration ban. “Sri Lanka Missions in the US have informed us that there are no confirmed cases of Sri Lankans stranded at US airports,” the ministry’s spokesman Maheshini Colonne said. more..

Kumar Gunaratnam receives citizenship

Feb 2 (NR) Member of the FSP Noel Mudalige also known as Kumar Gunaratnam who was arrested on charges of violating visa regulations has been granted the Sri Lankan Citizenship. The application filed for Sri Lankan citizenship was approved and came into effect yesterday. Gunaratnam was previously issued a visa in order for him to reside in the country till the completion of the paper work. more..