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Rice market pressure easing as imports start arriving at retailers

Feb 17 (GDI) As imported rice volumes began feeding into domestic retail and wholesale channels, Minister of Industry and Commerce began making surprise visits to learn about the market status first-hand on the eve of 15 Feb. “There is no shortage of rice in the market as speculated” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on the eve of 16 Feb. He accompanied by officials of the Consumer Affairs Authority, was addressing the media and more..

RTI commission committed to building a strong and independent RTI operation 

Feb 17 (CT) Right to Information Commission has stated that it is committed to building a strong and independent operation with the expertise and capacity to support all seekers and providers of public information. Issuing a Media Statement, it has further stated that the five-member body, though still operating in an interim capacity with a skeletal staff from temporary premises (2- 203-204, BMICH, Colombo -07, Ph- 011 2691625) intends have a strong policy of proactive public engagement. more..

Confrontations with Colonialism: Resistance, revivalism & reform under British rule in SL

Feb 17 (CT) In the last ten years or so, Prof. P V J Jayasekera has been working on revising his doctoral dissertation for publication as many friends had insisted that it should be offered for public consumption. Finally the first volume of it is out. We are not a historians so we possess neither the subject knowledge nor the capacity to comment on the wider field the book is grappling with. Hence this is just a reader’s response. Confrontations with Colonialism: Resistance, Revivalism and more..

Shamindra Ferdinando

Sri Lankan refugee

Feb 17 (CT) This newspaper's lead story yesterday was PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's appeal to SL asylum seekers in Australia to return to the island with the promise that they won't be persecuted. '...Come back. All is forgiven...,' he's said, on his recent tour to Australia. Refugees from SL, first entered the country's lexicon after the events that took place in the country's political and economic landscape 40 years ago in July '77, in a watershed general election held then. more..

Asela's send-off, Tharanga's bittersweet day

Feb 17 (CI) 19 years and 475 senior-level matches after his state debut, Michael Klinger finally got the chance to walk out to bat for Australia, at his old home ground, the MCG, no less. Opening the batting alongside Aaron Finch, Klinger took a moment to look around the ground as he got his bearings, and stood at the non-striker's end as the acting captain took the first ball of the match. When a single took Klinger to the pointy end, his first assignment was far from the easiest more..

T20: SL claim last-ball win over Australia

Feb 17 (CI) Australia's best of the Big Bash League took Sri Lanka to the final ball. The hosts and their three debutants fought to the finish against the visitors in front of a raucous crowd at the MCG, but a win offered Sri Lanka the chance to wrap up the series at Kardinia Park on Sunday. Perth Scorchers' Andrew Tye was left with six runs to defend from the final over, and one from the final ball. Chamara Kapugedara surveyed more..

Video: A son missing, a family in turmoil

Feb 17 (ICRC) When Punchibanda watched his son leave to join the army in 1995, he could not have imagined the heartache he would have to endure five years later. In 2000, he and his wife were informed that their son was missing. After a desperate and futile search that lasted four months, they received news one day that their son's remains had been recovered. The ICRC is contributing to address the needs of families of missing people in Sri Lanka, and advocating for and providing more..

Malaysia Airlines flight to Colombo turns back due to technical problem

Feb 17 (TS) Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH179 en route to Colombo on Thursday made a turn back to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) due to technical problems. MAS said the aircraft, which departed from KLIA at 10.10pm, was forced to turn back when its auxiliary power unit (APU) was unable to start. "Aircraft landed uneventfully at 1.50am (Friday)," it said in a statement. APU is a backup power unit that is required to be switched on when an aircraft crosses over water. more..

Alleged kidney racket: Suspended sentence for three Indians

Feb 17 (DN) Three Indians who pleaded guilty for over-staying in Sri Lanka without having valid visas and escaping from lawful custody, were yesterday sentenced to one year's imprisonment suspended for five years by the Colombo Chief Magistrate. Apart from the suspended imprisonment, three Indians were ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 100,000. However, two Indians who did not plead guilty to the charges were ordered to be more..

Milk factory owner arrested for spilling spoilt milk to the river

Feb 17 (AD) A manager at a private company, allegedly responsible for the contamination of the contents of the Castlereagh reservoir, with 3000 liters of expired liquid milk, has been arrested by Hatton police personnels. Private company held responsible for the incident, were distributors of liquid milk products in the Darawala Dikkoya area in Hatton. Expired milk was released into the Dikoya lake earlier today, hence contaminating the reservoir to which the lake flows into. more..

AG’s revision application against granting of bail to Alles fixed for March 31

Feb 17 (Island) Court of Appeal fixed for calling on March 31, 2017, Revision application filed by the Attorney General against the Court of Appeal order of Nov 8, 2016 whereby, it granted interim relief to Tiran Alles, by way of granting him bail. Attorney General had taken the objection that Alles was granted bail exparte without notice to the Attorney General. The Attorney General in the Revision application had explained that Alles was indicted in the High Court of Colombo for more..

Mounting loan, interest repayments to be financed by USD 1.5 billion sovereign bond

Feb 17 (Island) With Rs. 1,480 billion required to repay loan and installments for 2017, the govt has decided to finance it, by the issue of international sovereign bonds amounting to USD 1,500 million. Minister Gayantha Karunathillake said, that the proposal to issue U.S dollar sovereign bonds, made by Minister Ravi Karunanayake was approved by the Cabinet. "According to the Appropriation Bill, the balance outstanding of govt’s maximum more..

Modi to attend UN Vesak Day celebration in Sri Lanka

Feb 17 (Xinhua) Indian PM Narendra Modi has confirmed his participation in UN Vesak Day celebrations to be conducted in Sri Lanka in May this year. UN Vesak Day will be observed in Sri Lanka to mark the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha who founded the Buddhism religion. SL is predominately a Buddhist country with more than 70% of the population following the region. Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that govt invited a number of world leaders more..

Sri Lanka sees extremely good response for syndicated loan: Finance Minister

Feb 17 (EN) Sri Lanka has seen an extremely good response for a syndicated loan that is currently been arranged, which may result in better pricing that last year, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. "Compared to the previous syndicated loan, the response is extremely good," he said. "I am happy with the response that is coming in." Karunanayake said the interest shown in the bond came with some volatility in external conditions and a possible rate hike by the US Federal Reserve. more..

President opens six storied clinical ward complex at the Warakapola Base Hospital

Feb 17 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says persons who question as to what the present Govt has done should understand clearly the difference between the past system of this country and the present situation. President further said that he will make the change that the country needed, facing whatever the challenges come before him. He made these remarks participating in a ceremony to vest the newly constructed state-of-the-art more..

SLC announces Bangladesh itinerary

Feb 17 (DT) Bangladesh will take on the Island nation in two Test matches, with the first one starting March 7. The Tests will be followed by three ODIs and two T20Is. Bangladesh will reach Sri Lanka on Febr 27 after which Mushfiqur Rahim and his troop will take part in a two-day practice match. The first Test will be played at Galle Int'l Stadium. The second Test, which will be Bangladesh’s 100th, is scheduled to get underway from March 15 at P Sara Stadium in Colombo. more..

How Prabhakaran killed his opponents

Feb 17 (CT) Velupillai Prabhakaran, at the young age of 17, shot dead Alfred Duraiappah at a Hindu kovil in Nallur. Duraiappah was a Christian married to a Hindu doctor, a niece of G.G. Ponnambalam who was a lawyer and politician. Ponnambalam was also the founder of the Tamil Congress. All leading Tamil politicians and lawyers of the Jaffna Peninsula joined Ponnambalam's Tamil Congress which demanded equal rights for Tamils. Most of the leading politicians and lawyers with more..

Export-Import bank of India team visit SL to monitor progress of India-funded projects

Feb 17 (HCI) A team from Export-Import Bank of India visited Sri Lanka from 13-16 Feb to monitor the progress of projects being executed in Sri Lanka under Govt of India Lines of Credit (LoC), particularly in the railway sector. The team visited sites of the Northern Railway Rehabilitation Project, including Kankesanthurai Railway Line, Omanthai - Pallai railway line, Talaimannar-Madhu Road Railway Line, more..

CP Governor orders immediate transfer of CP Education Director

Feb 17 (Island) Governor of Central Province9 Niluka Ekanayake on Thursday (16) afternoon issued instructions to the Central Province Director of Education that the Division Director of Education of Ududumbara be transferred out with immediate effect. The instructions to the provincial education chief by the governor was sequel to the findings of a meeting convened by her to ascertain reasons for the shortcomings of the Hapukanda Primary School in Ududumbara. more..

Expensive medicine & equipment to be regulated

Feb 17 (NR) Minister Rajitha Senarathne says the price of high priced medicine and medical equipment will be regulated in future. Speaking at a media briefing today Minister said the good governance is of the belief that the health sector is not a business. The Minister said the govt will reduce the prices of all high priced medicine and the prices of medical equipment such as stents. He added charges by private hospitals, clinics and laboratories will also be regulated. more..

International school teacher nabbed for selling narcotics

Feb 17 (DM) A 23-year-old female, who is known to be an international school teacher, and a man residing in Kandana were arrested by STF officers for selling Kerala Ganja and pills laced with narcotics to schoolchildren. The teacher and the man had been selling drugs to the students for a long time. The man was arrested after a tip off received by the STF officers who had recovered several Zamadol pills, 1 kg of Kerala Ganja more..

CMC launches Smart Park Mobile App

Feb 17 (DM) Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) launched a Smart Park Mobile App to enhance the services offered to motorists in the city. The Smart Park Mobile App is an enhancement to services provided by Tenaka Parkings in improving customer satisfaction by providing an efficient parking management service in a professional and orderly manner to ensure a safe, secure and friendly environment. Project includes installation of parking meters along the length of the Galle Road, more..

Eight arrested in Sri Lanka for attempting to flee to New Zealand by boat

Feb 17 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan Police arrested eight people on Friday, for attempting to flee illegally to New Zealand by boat, the police media unit said. The police said the asylum seekers were arrested from Negombo, in the outskirts of Colombo. The arrested individuals were residents of Negombo and Marawila, in the western province, and Kalmunai and Mullaitivu, in the island's north. They will be produced before a local court later on Friday. more..

Sri Lankan named Best Airline in South Asia

Feb 17 (Xinhua) SriLankan Airlines was named the Best Airline in South Asia by China's Top Travel magazine at the 10th Annual Top Travel Awards. SriLankan Airlines was recently crowned the World's Leading Airline Operating to the Indian Ocean Region at the prestigious World Travel Awards and Best Full Service Airline in Central and South Asia for the second consecutive year at the Future Travel Experience Asia Awards. more..

Gota at the FCID; But not for MIG deal

Feb 17 (AM) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa Arrived at the FCID, a short while ago. FCID sources said the former Defence Secretary was summoned to record a statement over  the construction of Sanda Hiru Seya, in Anuradhapura. Rajapaksa is also under investigation for MIG deal and several other alleged misappropriations under the previous government.  Highly placed Police sources said that Rajapaksa was not likely to be arrested today.  more..

EU funds Women & Childens Desk at Vavuniya police station

Feb 17 (Island) Women’s and Children’s Desk (WCD) at Kanagarayankulam Police Station, Vavuniya was jointly inaugurated on February 15 by the Ambassador of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Tung-Laï Margue, the UN Resident Coordinator Una McCauley and the UNICEF Representative, Tim Sutton. The DIG and the Govt Agent for Vavuniya also participated in the event. The WCD, which has been funded as part of the European Union-Support to more..

Indian Foreign Secretary Jaishankar to meet Sri Lankan leaders on Monday

Feb 17 (ENS) Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar will be meeting Prez, PM and other leaders during a brief visit to SL on Monday. Officials described Jaishankar’s visit as a routine one to keep himself abreast of the latest developments in SL, besides keeping track of the progress of existing Indian development projects, and to explore possibilities of future engagement in development and commercial sectors. more..

Beyond neoliberal LGBTQI politics

Feb 18 (CT) In Sri Lanka, LGBTIQ community – or many segments of that community – has come together last week to stand against the decision of the President of SL to bin a provision to ensure equality and justice to all citizens irrespective of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The most recent collective action happened to be a press conference held in Colombo, attended by academics, legal experts, and most importantly, LGBTIQ people, with an intersectional more..

Glory days of Gazette Heroes

Feb 18 (Island) Has the price of rice come down in the market? Why what makes you think it will come down? Why…because the prices have been gazetted, that’s why. You had better think a lot more about the power or impact of the gazette. Then what will happen to the National Heroes Declaration that will be gazetted soon? Nothing much, it will remain in the gazette...that’s all. But what about Veera Keppetipola – Monaravila Keppetipola Dissawe – will he not be recognized as more..

Illusionists’ extravaganza

Feb 18 (SO) It’s 9:45 on Sunday morning when they first start trickling in: young and old, English and Sinhala-speaking, mostly male, but some female. Many wear conspicuously mysterious garb: black suits, red vests, top hats, capes. They carry with them bulging satchels and canvas bags. They perch on the seats in front of the stage, unpacking their wares and exchanging greetings. By 10 o’clock dribble has widened more..

Respect…. Where art thou

Feb 18 (NS) Sri Lankans have become so used to be waiting, waiting for things to happen, and waiting on the roads wondering who is protesting and for what. We have got so used to them. We grumble, we blast the govt and the police, in our heads of course, but wait patiently till we reach our destination. Sri Lankan roads reflect our thinking, our mentality, and our respect to others. Not all of us drive in the same manner. Some are hasty and switch lanes all the time while some are more..

Editorial: Stray quadrupeds and feral bipeds

Feb 18 (Island) We have a fine govt. Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration is dependent on fines to increase its revenue. Budget 2017 proposed a 25,000 fine for some traffic offences. It is reported that the govt is now planning to bring in new legislation to impose a six-month jail term and a 25,000 rupee fine on those who either abandon dogs in public places or let them stray. Minister Faizer Mutapha has reportedly said CCTV cameras will be installed to nab the wrongdoers. more..

'Justices should be subject to judicial audits'

Feb 18 (CT) President of Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Geoffrey Alagaratnam says that Judges should be free of political or any other interference and any pressure. "They should be self regulated in every way. They should be men of integrity and of excellent professional calibre. But, they should also be under the control of a supervisory body when it comes to disciplinary controls and impeachments". more..

Sumptuous temple trees lunch politely refused

Feb 18 (CT) Minister Wijewardene while succeeding in ending the fast unto death had assured those who engaged in the Vavuniya hunger strike that he would expedite the process for them to seek justice. On his return to Colombo the minister arranged a high profile meeting between the representatives of the Association of Involuntarily Disappeared Persons and Ministers Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, D.M. Swaminathan, Sagala Ratnayake and IGP Pujith Jayasundara. more..

Connecting Sri Lanka: EFL Express opens second center in Galle

Feb 18 (AT) EFL Express opened its second service center in Galle this month. The domestic logistics provider has been based in Colombo since it was founded a year ago, and with this expansion hopes to bring its expertise to another key strategic location in the country. EFL Express is a subsidiary of ExpoLanka Freight, a leading logistics service provider in the region. EFL is a prominent logistics company and one of the largest freight forwarders in Asia, with operations in 18 countries more..


Dissecting the reasons for low International ranking of Sri Lankan state universities

Feb 18 (CT) Sri Lankan Universities according to the Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka is ranked as illustrated in the table below. It is an extremely pathetic situation particularly since Sri Lanka is now a middle income country. Lets face it! Our universities suck! Private universities with lower quality and tuition culture purport to be ranked higher than state universities because they are affiliated with a top 500 international universities. State universities are publicly funded more..

Poetry gets teacher in trouble

Feb 18 (SL) A group of bureaucrats at the Education Ministry have been accused of violating a school teacher’s freedom of expression. A special investigation has been launched by the Ministry of Education against a school teacher for writing poems. Sources said that it seems that the top brass of the Education Ministry has been hurt by the words of these poems. Hence they have declared an all-out war against the school teacher, both to suppress him and his poetic skills. more..

Thailand, Sri Lanka prepare trade pact

Feb 18 (PB) Thailand and Sri Lanka are set to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) later this year, aiming to triple bilateral trade to US$ 1.5 billion over the next five years. Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak, who met with SL minister Malik Samarawickrama, yesterday said the two countries aimed to sign the FTA this August, when he is scheduled to lead Thai investors to visit Sri Lanka. Mr Somkid said he also proposed that more..