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How they have filled hospital labourer vacancies

Feb 22 (DM) Two powerful upcountry politicos at provincial level had distributed most hospital labourer appointments in the province to their political supporters. Having done away with the proper recruitment procedure, these two political heavyweights had distributed 75 appointments each among their political supporters. Meanwhile, they had conceded a quota of two appointments each to the council members in a bid to prevent them from raising a hue and cry in protest. more..

Sri Lankan snowboarder Azquiya Usuph blazes trail at Asian Winter Games

Feb 22 (AFP) Following in the traditions of plucky triers such as Jamaica’s bobsledders and British ski jumper Eddie the Eagle Edwards, a SL snowboarder has overcome her nerves and a glaring lack of experience to blaze a trail at Asian Winter Games. Despite freaking out - and then falling - at the start line, 16-year-old Azquiya Usuph took off and hurtled down a mountain at breakneck speed in women’s snowboarding in Sapporo more..

Is India still interested in developing Trinco port?

Feb 22 (CT) At the annual Raisina Dialogue held in New Delhi, Minister Sarath Fonseka said the two nations would soon commence negotiations for an accord for India to develop the Eastern Trincomalee Port. In July last, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said a Singaporean company, Surbana Jurong, was to undertake the assignment. SL and Surbana Jurong, an infrastructure major, had signed a MoU a month earlier, though the MoU was confined to preparing a master-plan for Trinco development. more..

Gayle, Sangakkara & Mahela refuse to play PSL final in Lahore

Feb 22 (CT) Karachi Kings' Chris Gayle, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have refused to travel to Lahore for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final despite being made lucrative financial offers by the league organizers. As many as 50 cricketers expressed their desire to partake in the title-deciding match after the PSL organizers, following a high-level meeting, decided to go ahead and hold the match in Lahore, per Express News. However, absent from list was the star trio more..

At CEDAW, Lankan women activists call for equality and end to discrimination

Feb 22 (FT) Lankan activists gathered in the Swiss canton of Geneva this week to lobby the UN women’s rights watchdog – CEDAW – pressing the UN committee to urge the Sri Lankan Govt to meet its obligations to protect women in the country from discriminatory practices, including oppressive marriage laws, a ban on same-sex unions and ongoing sexual exploitation of women and girls, especially in former war zones. more..

Switch off street lamps: Power generation possible only until April: Minister

Feb 22 (GDI) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya requests to curtail the duration of lighting the street lamps by one hour to save the power due to the prevailing dry weather. If the prevailing dry weather condition continues, it would directly affect the power generation. But, plans are in place to continuously provide electricity.  It would cost a huge amount. It is the Treasury but, not the CEB who will bear it. “If we were able to save 50 MW it is a big victory. There are about one million street lamps. more..

Asia’s Best Restaurants: Ministry of Crab and Nihonbashi ranked 29th, 49th

Feb 22 (AD) Ministry of Crab and Nihonbashi ranked 29th & 49th at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ awards ceremony held in Bangkok today. A Bangkok Indian restaurant topped the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list for a third consecutive year. The annual list is compiled based on votes of 300 food writers, critics, chefs and others, who are asked about their best restaurant experience, according to William Reed Business Media, which also publishes the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. more..

Govt defends Port City tax concessions

Feb 22 (FT) Minister Malik Samarawickrama assured Parliament the Port City agreement inked during the Rajapaksa regime was amended recently in favour of Sri Lanka.  According to the Minister, such amendments prevented the Chinese company from freehold to the Port City land, and have increased the land mass share of the Govt. Minister, responding to Opposition lawmaker Anura Dissanayake’s charges of seeking approval more..

SL girls advance to semis in Junior Fed Cup

Feb 22 (CT) Sri Lanka girls advanced to the semi-finals of the Junior Fed Cup with 2 superb wins against Iraq 3-0 (yesterday) and Singapore 3-0 today. Playing the first single Anika Seneviratne led the way with a 6/0 6/0 win against Iraq's Nirozh Khalil and Savini Jayasuriya beat Sara Hasan 6/2 6/2 to ensure victory. In the doubles Anika teamed up with Sathi Silva and beat Sara and Nirosh 6/0 6/1 to give Sri Lanka a clean sweep. In the tie against Singapore Anika beat Joelle Goh 6/4 6/1 and more..

German Expatriate assaults lady Secretary

Feb 22 (DN) A German Expatriate attached to GITEC a consultancy firm involved in the construction of the Karapitiya Maternity Hospital Project is alleged to have assaulted a lady Secretary in Public. She was later admitted to the Karapitiya hospital for treatment, an official attached to project told the Daily News. Doctors after medical investigations have said her muscle tissues have been damaged. When I ask the lady as to how this incident happened she said, more..

Hashim puts the screws on Ravi

Feb 22 (CT) A determined stand-off between Minister of Kabir Hashim and Finance Ministry at yesterday's Cabinet meeting sent emotions roaring in connection with a clash of opinions on the amount of compensation to be paid for cancellation of an agreement signed by the previous regime to purchase aircraft. Hashim objected to the Finance Ministry's cancellation compensation estimate of US$ 154 million though Cabinet had agreed more..

Govt to implement crucial tax bills from Apr 1

Feb 22 (FT) Several months after passing the 2017 Budget proposal, the Govt is finally ready to implement the crucial tax bills, starting 1 April, to improve its revenue to the GDP. “All the tax proposals that were proposed and weren’t implemented due to various reasons will be implemented from 1 April,” Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. Finance Ministry, he said, together with the line Ministries and Govt institutions are currently working on legislative process. more..

Ragging complaints hotline by UGC

Feb 22 (DN) UGC announced that it has set up an online complaints mechanism so that any member of the university community can quickly lodge complaints about ragging, harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Commission claimed that every complaint will be investigated and that victims will be offered support & aid. Any member of the univ, be they students, academics, non-academic staff, or administrative staff, can lodge a complaint by going to UGC website or calling UGC. more..

Presidential Commission of Inquiry questions CB Chief over bond sale

Feb 22 (FT) Presidential commission investigating irregularities in govt bond sales questioned Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy yesterday. Commission questioned Indrajit Coomaraswamy on the alleged irregularities in the issuance of Treasury bonds. It will also investigate a controversial bond sale under his predecessor, Arjuna Mahendran, in Feb 2015. During the sessions, which are open to the public, more..

Only North Central PC agrees with Sustainable Development Bill

Feb 22 (Island) Only the North Central Provincial Council has expressed its consent for the Sustainable Development Bill, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament. "This bill was presented to Parliament on Jan 9. It was referred to each Provincial Council in terms of Article 154G (5) (a) of the Constitution and the Provincial Councils were requested to report their views to Parliament within a period of one month from Jan 10, 2017, in terms of Standing Order No 46A (2) (a) of Parliament. more..

EPF prevented from buying bonds in secondary market

Feb 22 (Island) Presidential Commission of Inquiry was told yesterday that the EPF has been stopped from buying CB bonds in the secondary market. Restrictions have been placed on the EPF in the wake of Dr Indrajith Coomaraswamy replacing CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran in mid last year. Coomaraswamy explained that there had been transactions involving the EPF and primary dealers. President Sirisena appointed the Commission of Inquiry due to delay on the part of the law more..

'Treasury bonds issued in ad hoc manner in the past'

Feb 22 (DN) CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said that he was surprised by the ad hoc manner in which the Central Bank Treasury Bonds have been issued in the past. CBSL Governor was testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds. Presidential Commission comprised of SC judges Justice K.T. Chitrasri, Justice Prasanna Jayawardena and more..

Politicians should lead by example

Feb 22 (DM) Despite the promises of large-scale Foreign Direct Investments-many have promised but few have come- Sri Lanka is facing a major economic crisis over the repayment of foreign and domestic loans, most of them obtained on high commercial interest rates. So grave is the crisis that CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy and Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe were requested to attend last week’s Cabinet meeting, where they gave Ministers a clear picture including more..

FCID’s unintended consequences resulting in bureaucratic quagmire!

Feb 22 (DM) A lacklustre, sluggish and thoroughly uncreative bureaucracy has been waiting for an excuse. And they got it- FCID. For the most inexcusable delay in getting things done, the SL bureaucracy which was merely a ready, willing and handy and convenient tool in the hands of politicians in the standard (or sub-standard) of the last regime of the Rajapaksa’s, has become one of the most powerful yet caustic & encumbering forces in the govt, not as a positive driver of policies, more..

Anoma accused of violating good governance policies

Feb 22 (SL) The govt of good governance came to power with a mandate to crackdown on corruption and curb the misuse of state property and funds. However Anoma Fonseka, wife of Minister Sarath Fonseka has been accused of violating the very policy govt promised to protect. Anoma Fonseka was seen as a strong advocate of anti-corruption. After Fonseka was promoted to the rank of Field marshal, his wife Anoma more..

Colombo garbage mountain dumped on the desks of leaders

Feb 22 (ST) The Colombo Municipal Council said it has abandoned seeking solutions to Colombo’s growing garbage problem and has declared it a national issue. Commissioner, V K A Anura said that it has handed over the problem to President and PM as it is unable to find landfills. This follows the Colombo Magistrate Court ruling last week that the council must clear the Meethotamulla garbage mountain soon. more..

President discusses electricity generation plans with CEB engineers

Feb 22 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena held a discussion with a group of members of the CEB Engineers’ Association, regarding future plans which aimed at the development of the the field of energy while protecting the environment and boosting the economy. CEB Engineers’ Association appraised the President in detail regarding factors like planning locations to build future power stations, finding possibility more..

Navy Commander’s term extended

Feb 22 (AD) Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne’s term has been extended by President Sirisena, it was reported. He was first appointed to the position in July, 2015. His term was extended with effect from today and it will continue for six months.  Wijegunaratne joined the SL Navy as an officer cadet of the 9th Intake on in Nov, 1980. He underwent his basic training at the Naval and Maritime Academy, more..

JO accused of facilitating Prez-PM project

Feb 22 (Island) The Federation of National Organizations (FNO) accused the Joint Opposition (JO) of facilitating a high profile political project undertaken by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration to empower the Provinces at the expense of SL’s unitary status. The FNO alleged that the project was in line with Geneva Resolution. Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka, Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera, Dr. Wasantha Bandara and more..

Malayali family brings back to life a slice of colonial Colombo

Feb 22 (ENS) The Vethodys, a family of Malayali entrepreneurs with roots in Kerala and Sri Lanka, have brought back to life a slice of Colombo’s colonial past with the re-launch of their extensively renovated 135-year-old iconic Hotel Nippon situated in the heart of the capital’s business district. Nippon as it is popularly known, occupies Manning Mansions in Slave Island, a place which 16th Century Portuguese rulers of Colombo more..

High-level Chinese delegation in marathon talks with Sri Lanka

Feb 22 (DM) A Chinese delegation headed by Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kong Xuanyou is reported to have held five hours of discussions with the Sri Lankan authorities on the entire gamut of bilateral relations. The delegation arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday in the wake of some of the proposed Chinese investments in the country hitting a snag amid public protests and legal action. Govt has sought to hand over an 80% more..

SL to introduce sweeping police reforms

Feb 22 (AA) SL police have insisted that cases of police torture are limited despite rights advocates warning that authorities are not fulfilling pledges to eradicate the deeply embedded practice. DIG Priyantha Jayakody said that SL Human Rights Commission’s claim of some 3,000 cases was an exaggerated number. Over the past three months, the police force has conducted orientations for personnel in adherence to a new govt policy more..

'Govt has increased country’s debt by 25%'

Feb 22 (Island) LSSP leader Prof Tissa Vitharane quoting CM Governor said the govt had during the last two years had increased foreign debt by 25% and attributed it to the unity govt’s ineffeciency and mismanagement. He said that said govt was burdening masses with a plethora of indirect taxes such as VAT while asking the people to tighten their belts. While it was asking the masses to tighten their belts was helping the rich more..

JVP protests sacking of Lanka Mineral Sands Chairman

Feb 22 (Island) Removal of Asoka Peiris from the post of chairman of Lanka Mineral Sands indicated that the Yahapalana govt does not need honest and competent public officials with a backbone but those who toe their line and help perpetuate corruption, the JVP said in parliament. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that there was public displeasure against govt abruptly removing Peiris from more..

Sri Lanka’s capital gains tax will be nightmare to implement: Abeysuriya

Feb 22 (LBO) SL’s capital market players are not expecting a capital gain tax (CGT) on the share market as it will have a cascading effect on the already deprived stock market in the island. Group Director of Candor Group Ravi Abeysuriya, speaking at a capital market conference, said CGT will be a nightmare to implement on stocks. “We do not expect CGT to be applicable to stocks. But if it comes it’s a nightmare to implement or collect taxes because of the complications,” he said. more..

Police urge unidentified victims of inhuman ragging to come forward

Feb 22 (Island) Police said that there were more undergrads who had been subjected to inhuman ragging at the Perademiya University other than those who had been identified and the perpetrators had been suspended. Kandy DIG Mahinda Ekanayake said those responsible had escaped Scot free. The police top brass urged those who had been subjected to extreme ragging to complain to the police. "Investigations have revealed that among those responsible for ragging more..

Hemantha Warnakulasuriya

Nestlé Sri Lanka unit Dec net up 34%

Feb 22 (FT) Nestle Lanka yesterday announced its revenue for 2016 has increased by 5% to Rs. 36.5 billion despite tough market conditions.  Profit after tax was up 6.7% to Rs 4.4 billion for the full year ending 31 December 2016. Tax increases resulted in some erosion in the Q4 2016revenue of Rs. 8.6 billion. Nestle said in a statement the impact of cost increases and taxes was partially mitigated through focus on driving efficiencies across the value chain. Board approved an interim dividend of more..

The whole country must know the truth

Feb 22 (CT) All people who lived in Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, or any other difference, whether Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim or Burgher made their fullest contribution to the achievement of independence. It is almost 70 years since Sri-Lanka attained Independence from Colonial Rule. Ethnic strife had plagued the Country from shortly after it attained Independence. Pacts entered into between PMs and the Tamil Political Leadership to help resolve such ethnic strife more..

75th anniversary celebration of the Ananda Shastralaya in Matugama

Feb 22 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says he has given instructions to the Inspector General of Police to pay special attention to prevent inhuman ragging in universities carried out by a minority group of students in order to interrupt the education of the majority of students. He also instructed the IGP to implement an initiative jointly with the University Authorities in this regard. President further said that Govt has more..

Danushka agrees to pay Rs.300,000 to MS’ sons

Feb 22 (DM) Singer MG Dhanushka was ordered to pay Rs. 300,000 to the sons of well-known singer, the late MS Fernando on agreeing to settle the matter amicably. The order was given by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lal Ranasinghe Bandara in the case in which it was alleged that Dhanushka had violated the Intellectual Property Act by singing the late Mr. Fernando’s songs. He was asked to make the payment by March 31. Mr. Fernando’s son Sarath had complained to the CID that more..

Ragging, striking undergrads

Feb 22 (CT) The lead story in yesterday's newspapers was about a ragging story emanating from Peradeniya University. Peradeniya undergraduates, inclusive of all other beneficiaries of free education of this country, ipso facto, owe it to Sri Lanka's long suffering taxpayer for their education. Taxpayers' money allocated to undergraduates is for them to study and not to indulge in ragging, whether they may be in the form of either physical and/or mental abuse. more..

Zampa secures consolation win for Australia

Feb 22 (CI) Adam Zampa's dismantling of Sri Lanka arrived too late to salvage the series for Australia, and also too late for the his skiddy, accurate wrist spin to be considered for the Test team to face India in Pune from Thursday. The frequent omission of Zampa from Australia's ODI and Twenty20 sides - despite an excellent record in both formats - has been a mystery for quite some time, and there appeared to be thinly veiled more..

122 Lankans abused in Kuwait return home

Feb 22 (NR) 122 Sri Lankans employed in Kuwait who were subjected to various forms of abuse have returned to the country. Foreign Employment Bureau said the individuals returned to the island on a special aircraft belonging to Sri Lankan Airlines. Bureau said those arrived in the country had suffered various forms of abuse while employed in Kuwait. Of the 122 individuals that arrived in the country 44 were placed at the SL embassy in Kuwait while 78 had entered Kuwait illegally. more..

5 acquitted in Raviraj case issued notice

Feb 22 (NR) Notice has been issued to the 5 individuals, who were arrested and later released, over the murder of former TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj, to appear before the Court of Appeal. Five were summoned before the Appeals Court on the 28th of Feb. The order was issued by a 2 member bench of Appeals Court judges. Notice was issued after the Appeals Court considered an appeal filed by Nadarajah Raviraj’s wife calling for the verdict issued by the Colombo HC pertaining to more..