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Independence of SL celebrated in Toronto

Feb 18 (GDI) A flag hoisting ceremony at the Toronto City Hall on 4th February and a cultural event on 5th February were held  to celebrate the 69th anniversary of independence of Sri Lanka, in Toronto by the Consulate General in Toronto. Ontario Premier Kathlyn Wynne, Federal Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, Senator Salma Ataullahjan, Ontario Provincial MP Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, Toronto Mayor John Tory, Regional Chair of the Durham Region Roger Anderson and more..

'Certain sections of media biased'

Feb 18 (DN) Certain sections of the media, including some journalists are biased and only see the negative side of things, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. They never report the positive measures taken by the Govt. They never double check to see the accuracy of their facts, Minister said. “Some health officials think that the Health Service is their private property and that they can remain in the service for ever. more..

Ex-JEDB Chairman says not sacked

Feb 18 (CT) Reference to our article JEDB Chairman sacked published on 25/11/2016, former JEDB Chairman Prof. Kennedy Gunawardana has written claiming that he was not sacked but was asked to resign as he was not a planter. Prof. Gunawardana's response is published Ad Verbatim. He says: The writer Niranjala Ariyawansha has got all facts wrong. I was not removed by JEDB. Minister told me to resign subject to offering some other post because I am not a planter; more..

Delimitation report still problematic: JVP

Feb 18 (CT) JVP MP Vijitha Herath says even if the govt gazettes the Delimitation Committee Report, it will be impossible to hold elections without amending the report first. The MP stated there were several errors in the report. He said when electing representatives to Provincial Councils, 70 per cent are to be chosen through the first-past- the-post system, while 30 per cent would be through the preferential vote system. With this, mathematical issues could crop up, he added. more..

Sri Lanka's antivenom leap forward

Feb 18 (AJ) In 2006, a Russell's viper sank one fang into Sanath Weeraratne's left hand. Weeraratne immediately started to bleed profusely as the anticoagulant properties in the venom took effect. He knew what could come next: more bleeding from the rectum and the gums and blood-stained vomit. The blood could seep into the brain and affect other organs, and this could be fatal. Fortunately for Weeraratne, the two people more..

Vermin infested food unloaded on customers

Feb 18 (ST) The cost of food is one of the most topical subjects these days and the mass of ordinary people find it difficult to keep body and soul together. But unscrupulous traders targeting unsuspecting customers are attempting to make unconscionable profit via sale of rice and other commodities unfit for human consumption.Innocent consumers continue to be targeted by these unscrupulous elements of society, whose only motive is to make a profit at any cost. The PHI at Beruwela this week, raided more..

Visitors on top against Sri Lanka A

Feb 18 (SKY) England Lions earned a healthy 261-run lead over Sri Lanka A by the end of day two of the first unofficial Test, despite struggling to stumps on 112-6 in their second innings. Slow-left-armer Malinda Pushpakumara took 3-28 to reduce the visitors to 85-6 at one stage - Keaton Jennings top-scoring with 37 - before Sam Curran (14no) and brother Tom (13no) safely saw out the final 12 overs of the day. Earlier, Toby Roland-Jones followed up his fine counter-attacking 82 more..

Malinga charts course to Champions Trophy

Feb 18 (CI) Injury robbed Lasith Malinga of the chance to contribute to SL's World Twenty20 last year. A promising display on his return to the side for the first time in a year at the MCG marks the start of his effort to be a force at the Champions Trophy in England later this year. At the age of 33, Malinga is far nearer the end of his career than the beginning, and the knee problem that cruelled his World T20 campaign last year was doubly more..

Hotel project stirs up a hornets’ nest

Feb 18 (DM) A young talkative Green party state purohita hailing from the Colombo district and well known for his holier-than-thou attitude has launched the construction work on a massive hotel project on the Hantana hill in Kandy. This hotel project launched with callous disregard for the ecological balance of the terrain has also become a big nuisance to the people residing in the vicinity of the construction site. The harried residents in the locality have planned to make more..

Kandy’s Arthur’s seat unseated by ungainly construction

Feb 18 (ST) Kandy’s Heritage City committee has strongly protested over an unsightly construction that has come up, under the Megapolis development project, over the historic Arthur’s seat, the famed viewing point of the city. The original seat, a slab of rock, was named after a British planter during colonial days who used to regularly admire the panoramic view of Kandy city from this vantage point on the upper lake road. The committee has also pointed out that during construction more..

Singapore PM expects FTA with Sri Lanka to be wrapped up this year

Feb 18 (EN) Singapore's PM Lee Hsien Loong expressed hope that a free trade deal with Sri Lanka could be wrapped up this year, following a informal meeting with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. "We talked about the FTA that we are negotiating, which we hope to complete this year. He invited me to visit Sri Lanka – hopefully to sign the FTA," PM Lee said. Sri Lanka wants to sign a tripartite trade deal linking Singapore, SL and New Zealand. more..

Warning : A million can go blind

Feb 18 (NS) Island-wide survey has revealed that within the next five years there would be more than one million patients awaiting cataract operations and the infrastructure facilities for tackling cataract related blindness was sorely lacking. Survey was conducted with those above the age of 40 years by Vision 2020 – National Programme for the Prevention of Blindness of Ministry of Health. Survey revealed that 1.7% were blind, out of which 66% were blind due to cataract related blindness. more..

Don’t give time to Govt. for probe: Wiggie

Feb 18 (NS) Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran has urged EU and UN not to heed to the govt’s request for more time to probe war crimes allegations. He made the request when he met EU ambassador Tung-Lai Margue together with the UN Resident Coordinator Una McCauley on Feb 15 in Jaffna. CM had reportedly said that the investigations process would slow down, adding that there was also a possibility of the issue being swept under the carpet if more time was given. more..

Rice mafia gobbling the granary

Feb 18 (NS) Rice millers last week said that over 1500 small and medium scale mills had closed down due to financial woes and acknowledged that the solution for the Govt with regard to solving the rice crisis and curbing the rice mafia was to economically empower the small and medium scale rice millers. One of the solutions for the financial situation faced by small and medium scale rice mill owners is for banks and more..

Electing a VC At Jaffna University

Feb 18 (CT) Colombo Telegraph continues its exposure of corruption in Jaffna University which is ruinous for the development of the region and indeed the nation. By turning a blind eye to it, the Govt and the education authorities, are by default, creating a climate where the entire system of education threatens to become toxic. In most universities where there is space for change, a change of vice chancellor is an opportunity to welcome new ideas, new academic culture more..

Sri Lanka ready to host biggest National Healthcare Exhibition

Feb 18 (Island) The 8th edition of Sri Lanka's only healthcare exhibition, Medicare 2017: National Healthcare Exhibition organized by the Medicare Organizing committee comprised with the specialist medical associations in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine. Exhibition will be held from March 3rd to 5th at the BMICH. This milestone event will showcase up to 200 local and international stalls in the medical sector uniting on one platform more..

SL govt sends back families of missing Tamils with yet another promise

Feb 18 (ENS) Govt ministers who met representatives the families of 32,000 missing Tamils here on Feb 9, sent them back with yet another promise that their grievance will be attended to after the return of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe from Australia. The families had met Ministers Ruwan Wijewardene, Sagala Ratnayake, Wijedasa Rajapakshe, D.M. Swaminathan, at the PM’s Office. IGP Pujith Jayasundara was present. more..

Garden project under fire from villagers

Feb 18 (DM) Number One in yahapalanaya recently opened a sprawling garden featuring a children’s park, a fitness centre and a walking path among a host of other facilities set up on a city suburb. The top team member who took the initiative to lay out this garden has claimed that it cost the exchequer Rs.306 million. However, villagers in the area say the real total cost should be much less than this figure. Villagers also claim that in the process of laying out the garden, more..

New laws to punish offenders

Feb 18 (CT) New laws will be drafted to punish all politicians and State officials who fail to disclose their assets and liabilities in the future. As per current laws only a minor fine is imposed on those who fail to reveal their assets and liabilities. Sources said, the govt has decided to enact new laws as most politicians and State officials are reluctant to disclose their assets and liabilities. Chairman of the EC Mahinda Deshapriya said a list of around 300 politicians who have so far failed to declare more..

Steep fines through the Dog Law amendment

Feb 18 (DM) The proposed amendment to the Dog Registration Ordinance will result in the mass killing of dogs, a consumer rights group said. President of National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection, said the proposed amendment which the govt is hoping to introduce under which a person would be subjected to a fine of no less than Rs.25,000 if he or she dumps dogs in public places or lets the domestic dogs to go astray, more..

Health Chief loses vision 20-20

Feb 18 (NS) Vision 20 –20 a  programme that carried out cataract operations and intra ocular lens transplants free of charge has been suspended following a directive issued by Director General of Health Services Dr. Jayasundera Bandara, according to a Ministry Spokesman. It is also reported that this move follows pressure brought by eye surgeons as their income from private practice has been reduced by this free programme. Vision 20-20 programme was inaugurated 5 yrs ago more..

Accountability issues: Sampanthan govt’s mouth piece: EPRLF leader

Feb 18 (DN) EPRLF leader Suresh Premachandra yesterday charged that TNA leader R. Sampanthan is in support of the govt’s proposals to obtain more time to address accountability issues. Premachandra said all members parties in the TNA do not support the govt’s proposals to obtain more time to address accountability issues. He said the proposal is aimed at protecting the govt. “Neither the Tamil people nor any Tamil political party will benefit by this proposals,” he said. more..

Army refutes allegations of  sexual exploitaion of tamil women

Feb 18 (MoD) Army Headquarters has noted with dismay a recent statement, alleged to have been made by the head of an ethnic reconciliation body on sexual exploitation and abuses of Tamil women by the Army in the post war scenario. The Army categorically denies the same as a baseless allegation. In 2010, civil administration was firmly established in the North and Army withdrew more..

Drought alarm!

Feb 19 (SO) President Maithripala Sirisena’s directive last week to provide an emergency allowance of Rs. 10,000 per drought-affected farmer family is timely, but much more needs to be done. Fortunately, the President has already formed a task force under his personal supervision to respond to all aspects of the months- long drought, the worst in decades. Of Dry Zone farmer origins himself, Mr. Sirisena is keenly sensitive to the significance of water to agricultural communities. more..

Noyahr, Lasantha, Thajudeen et al

Feb 19 (Island) Yesterday’s news that investigators have taken three serving military intelligence personnel over the 2008 abduction and torture of Keith Noyahr, Deputy Editor of the Nation newspaper, is most welcome. Earlier similar arrests were made over the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunga, Editor of the Sunday Leader and the killing of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen. While the arrest of those actually responsible for these heinous crimes is well and good, more..

'We cannot go against Court decision'

Feb 19 (SO) D.C. Dissanayake, Secretary to Higher Education Ministry says, Ministry is taking interim measures to resolve SAITM issue after speaking to the relevant stakeholders and await President to appoint a committee to resolve the issue. “Our point of view is that SAITM has been given degree awarding status in 2011 provisionally, and it has been confirmed in 2013. We cannot go against this decision. more..

President's patience exhausted?

Feb 19 (CT) Less than a month ago former President Chandrika Kumaratunga went on record as having said that members of the Joint Opposition are anxious to see a return to power by her successor Mahinda Rajapaksa so that they could return to the bribery and corruption that saturated the former govt. A few months before that, too, she was quoted as having said that there was still more work to be done by way of purging the SLFP of pro-Mahinda elements who obviously were being more..

The role of the opposition

Feb 19 (SL) Disturbing reports on signs of emergence of violence in the North and East have been reported in the media. Such reports may be false alarms, deliberate attempts made by political mischief makers or genuine indications of unseen developments taking place. When such reports emerge, whatever the personal views of politicians or security officials may be, it is imperative that they have to be fully and exhaustively investigated and action taken. Unity govt has its plate full more..

'Good opposition must for good govt'

Feb 19 (SL) Minister S. B. Dissanayake says he hopes there will not be a split in the SLFP.  Pointing out that everyone must join hands for a common cause, he said that the powers granted to the President through the 19th Amendment must be retained rather than going for a referendum. Q: Are you happy about the court ruling on SAITM? A: Yes. It was me who first issued a Gazette notification making SAITM a degree awarding institution. more..

Disaster Prevention

Feb 19 (ST) Did PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, now Dr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, overreact in asking the Cabinet to declare a State of Emergency and to call out the troops to meet the challenge of an impending drought? Or has the rest of the Govt disregarded the ground realities of what has been termed the worst spell of dry weather in four decades? Even the President was alarmed. So much so that he asked for foreign aid to meet the challenge. Asking for foreign assistance seems now a bad habit more..

Pursuing genius

Feb 19 (ST) My dear Green Man, I thought of writing to congratulate you when I heard that you had gone Down Under on an official visit where you were also awarded an honorary doctorate. I am wondering how it must feel to have two doctors in the same household- although one is not only a doctor but also a professor! I must admit all this came as a bit of a surprise because we heard about this doctorate business only at the last minute. It came as even more of a surprise when more..

Face the Nation

Govt pushing for a buy-back clause in Hambantota port agreement

Feb 19 (SO) It is, more or less, a win-win deal. According to Christopher Balding, associate professor at the HSBC School of Business at Peking University in Shenzhen, this gives China’s allies infrastructure and more and more debts to Beijing. “The debt, in turn, can result in Beijing getting something rather useful in nations with resources it covets: negotiating leverage to gain access to those resources, including land,” He said, in a recent article in Quartz. more..

Alleged political party nominee in High Court

Feb 19 (Island) Just two Sundays ago, this columnist wrote in in an article titled  Magistrate sacked on allegations of political involvement that  a newly recruited Magistrate D.M.A.I. Dissanayake had been sacked by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) on allegations of political involvement. When called before the JSC, Dissanayke had been shown three photographs of him and Minister Susil Premajayantha with another lawyer outside the Kaduwela court on the day more..

CBK’s remarks on war widows irk military

Feb 19 (CT) President instructed officials to provide an allowance of Rs 10,000 per month for all farmers who are affected by the prevailing dry weather and also instructed relevant authorities to appoint a committee comprising District Secretaries, Grama Niladharis and Samurdhi Officials to collect comprehensive information on affected families. After getting the relevant information, this allowance will be given from more..

KO tournament on hold till court matters are cleared

Feb 19 (ST) Lankan Premier League Limited overs tournament which was scheduled to begin yesterday, after launch amid much controversial circumstances at an ostentatious launching ceremony where the cost ran into millions of rupees is now stillborn. Colombo District Court on Friday issued an enjoining order preventing Sri Lanka Cricket conducting the Lankan Premier League Tournament after considering a case filed by Negombo Cricket Club for suspending them more..

Lankan Athletes to compete in 5 International Meets in 2017: AASL

Feb 19 (ST) The big match fever for 2017 will usher with traditional rivals Thurstan and Isipathana clashing in their two day 54th Battle of The Brothers encounter which is looked forward to by the past and present boys of the two schools due to be played on Feb 24 and 25 at the SSC ground starting from 9.30 a.m. on each day. Thurstan leads the series with five wins as against four to Isipathana with the rest ending in draws. There has been no outright results has been recorded by more..

We too have a damage control plan: Ford

Feb 19 (BT) Australia will demand more runs at the top of the order and must find a way to combat Sri Lanka's damage-control mantra in their must-win Twenty20 clash in Geelong on Sunday. The tourists have taken a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series after a stunning last-ball, five-wicket victory at the MCG on Friday night. Set 169 to win, Sri Lanka needed six off the final over by paceman Andrew Tye. Scores were knotted after 5 balls, more..

Chamara S: Hero who said no to match-fixing

Feb 19 (Island) Cricket fans remember Chamara Silva for his stunning unbeaten 152 in Wellington that set up a famous Test win for Sri Lanka 11 years ago. His Test debut was in the previous game in Christchurch where he collected a pair. Coach Tom Moody refused to drop him for the second Test in Wellington and Chamara didn’t disappoint his mentor. When greatest knocks by Sri Lankans in NZ are taken into account, Chamara’s effort ranks only behind Aravinda’s 267 in 1991. more..

FAO support to combat illegal fishing

Feb 19 (SO) Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) conducted training for govt officials on methods to combat illegal fishing as part of measures to improve capacity to tackle the organized criminal activity which had led to a European Union fishing ban that was lifted last year. FAO said the training of 24 officers of Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development. more..