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Sri Lanka raises minimum salary limit for workers abroad

Feb 2 (LBO) Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) said minimum salaries of foreign employees have been increased. Minimum salary of an unskilled worker should be at least at US$ 350 per month and skilled worker at US$ 450 per month. SLBFE said they will ensure that no SL leaves the country without an assurance of the minimum wage being paid. The remittances from foreign employees amount to around US$ 7 billion more..

Sri Lanka Medical Council used double standards, exceeded powers: Court

Feb 2 (EN) Sri Lanka Medical Council, a statutory body that registers doctors in the country, had used double standards and exceeded its powers when denying graduates of a private medical college, the Court of Appeal has ruled. Justices V K Malalgoda and S Thurairaja ordered the Sri Lanka Medical Council to provisionally register a graduate of the SLAITM, a fee-levying college authorised to award degrees. more..

SLMC to decide on measures to be taken next Wednesday

Feb 2 (Island) Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) said that an urgent Council meeting had been called for next Wednesday during which it would decide on the measure to be taken regarding Tuesday’s ruling by the Court of Appeal which directed the SLMC to give provisional registration to medical students passing out of SAITM. It ruled that the SLMC should approve the registration of SAITM graduates as medical practitioners. more..

Monks in politics should avoid the three poisons

Feb 2 (CT) Buddhist monks have by, now, been accepted or at least tolerated by our society as simultaneous political players. Soon after the assassination of SWRD Bandaranaike by a Buddhist monk and the revelation that high profile Sangha like Buddharakkita were behind the conspiracy, Sri Lankan society began to openly repudiate the very idea of the saffron community being seen on the political stage. Buddharakhitta’s incursion into the political power game is to-date regarded as more..

After Faiszer’s assurance, parties hopeful of LG polls

Feb 2 (DM) Following Minister Faiszer Musthapha’s assurance in court that he would Gazette the electoral wards in conformity with recommendations by the Delimitation Review Committee within a month, there is now some certainty about the possibility of holding the local authorities’ election this year. Earlier, the delay on the part of the minister was cited as the obstacle for election authorities to proceed with conducting the polls which is already overdue by two long years. more..

දේශපාලනය කියන්නෙ බිස්නස් එකක්: මන්ත්රී විදුර

SriLankan Airlines: Bahrain flight cancelled as cabin crew refuse to fly

Feb 2 (CT) Amidst a news media blackout on the incident, SriLankan Airlines flight UL 215/6 on the 19th January 2017 scheduled to depart from Colombo to Bahrain and back, was cancelled due to the Flight Attendant Union President Sakvithi Senadheera and his crew’s refusal to operate the flight, citing that they would exceed their Flight Duty Time Limitations. The cancellation of this flight cost the already loss making national carrier a further thumping loss besides inconveniencing more..

Peace Air gets SriLankan unions on board in bid for national carrier

Feb 2 (DN) Peace Air, which has made a bid of US$ 5.5 billion to acquire SriLankan Airlines is to ink an agreement with all seven unions of the airline soon. Peace Air Chairman Gamini Wethasinghe said that this will make one member of the seven airline unions as a member of the Director Board. “This is a new phenomena in the aviation industry that is being practiced all over the world to ensure the smooth running of the airline and we want to introduce this practice to Sri Lanka.” more..

STF to be used for UN peacekeeping operations

Feb 2 (FT) Govt approved a proposal to procure equipment worth Rs. 864.08 million for the Police’s Special Task Force to be deployed on a UN peacekeeping mission. Cabinet approved a proposal made by Minister Sagala Ratnayaka to procure arms and ammunition as well as military, medical and other goods to deploy a 380-member team of Police personnel. The estimated cost of the procurement is to be more..

Sri Lanka private traders should import rice fast to lower prices: Ravi

Feb 2 (EN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake urged private traders to import rice quickly after import taxes were slashed to help boost supplies after a rice crop failed. "You can bring rice from India for 50 rupees and sell at 65 rupees," he said. Taxes were cut last Friday and it took only about 4 days for rice to land in Sri Lanka. Import taxes were cut to 5 rupees a kilo for raw white rice, nadu and samba varieties. About 23,000 metric tonnes of rice had already arrived in the country. more..

Auditor General is obliged to directly answer to Parliament: Minister

Feb 2 (AD) Auditor General is obliged to directly answer to the Parliament, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara says. He went on to say the Auditor General should directly communicate with the Parliament on state issues, and he cannot simply leak out information. Jayasekara also underlined the Auditor General should act independently and the govt would not hesitate to ensure his security. He said that so far the AG has acted independently however; the authorities can take action if more..

CBK drops bombshell, says no need for war crimes probe

Feb 2 (CT) SL’s reconciliation efforts appeared to face more setbacks, with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga dropping a bombshell and ruling out the involvement of courts to probe war crimes committing during the final stages of the war in 2009. Kumaratunga, who is also the head of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) said that what is urgent now is to bring in a new Constitution and more..

Sri Lankans not banned from travelling to US

Feb 2 (NR) US Embassy in Sri Lanka says Sri Lankans can continue to travel to the US with a valid visa. Issuing a statement, US Embassy said Sri Lanka is not on the list of countries included in the Executive Order temporarily suspending entry into the United States. US President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order temporarily suspending entry into the US of individuals from seven countries including Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. more..

Ban on parrot fishing lifted temporarily

Feb 2 (Island) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday said his Ministry had decided to give permission to fish Parrot fish an endangered species found in relatively shallow tropical oceans such as Sri Lanka for a trial period of a month after the guidelines were formulated. He said that he had instructed the officials to make necessary regulations immediately and the SL Navy had been entrusted the task of monitoring fishermen to ensure they complied with regulations. more..

Thajudeen Murder: Two high-ranking Army officials in MR security detail questioned

Feb 2 (DN) Two high-ranking Army officials who were assigned to former President Rajapaksa’s security detail have been extensively questioned on the Thajudeen murder case, the CID informed Court today. Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Ratnayake appearing on behalf of the CID informed Colombo Additional Magistrate that detectives had recorded statements from the officers, based on investigation into telephone calls more..

Court allows demo march against SAITM without obstructing traffic

Feb 2 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake made an order to the organizers of the protest, which to be held in Colombo against the SAITM today, to refrain from blocking roads of 12 congested places in Colombo and causing unnecessary public nuisance. The Magistrate gave this directive and absolute order under Section 106 (1) of Criminal Procedure Court. He also observed that this order would not to prevent the organizers to conduct the protest peacefully. more..

India to construct multi-ethnic tri-lingual school in Sri Lanka

Feb 2 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka today signed an agreement to construct a multi-ethnic tri-lingual school in a north central district of the island nation that would provide opportunities to Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim students to learn in a multi-cultural environment. MoU was signed by India's High Commissioner to SL Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Secretary to the Ministry of Education Sunil Hettiarachchi. Secondary school located in Prez Sirisena's home district Polonnaruwa more..

COPA recommends tax declaration from all citizens

Feb 2 (DM) Committee On Public Accounts (COPA), in its 2016 report proposes that there should be a mechanism to receive a declaration from every adult of the country to evaluate whether a personal income tax file should be opened or not in the light of the number of current personal income tax files of 1,35,170 and 13,169 of NGOs, Mutual Funds etc. may not reflect the actual state revenue situation. Therefore, the interim report of more..

Miller ruled out of rest of Sri Lanka series

Feb 2 (CI) David Miller, fresh off his second century in three ODI innings, will not be available for the rest of the series against Sri Lanka because of a finger injury. Miller sustained a cut to the little finger of his right hand during the second ODI in Durban when he could not quite get underneath a diving catch in the eighth over of the Sri Lanka innings. He did not field for the remainder of the match and will require stitches which means seven to 10 days of recovery time. more..

27,873 new cancer patients registered last yr

Feb 2 (Island) Approximately 27,873 new cancer patients had registered with the main cancer treatment centres affiliated to nine hospitals in the country last year, to the National Cancer Control Programme, announced. Addressing the media to announce the World Cancer Day, commemorated the world over on Saturday, Consultant Community Physician of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Dr. Suraj Perera said however that that the figures that had been taken from more..

EU requests transparent tender procedures

Feb 2 (LBO) A European Union delegation has called for transparent tender procedures to ensure that companies from the EU can also bid for SL govt tenders. A meeting was organised by BoI and Development Strategies and Int'l Trade Ministry to address outstanding matters concerning investors from the EU. “SL Govt was seeking the possibility of setting up a central portal where planned projects would be listed,” more..

Sri Lanka arrests 5 Indian fishermen

Feb 2 (Xinhua) The SL navy on Thursday arrested 5 Indian fishermen for poaching illegally in local waters, the navy media unit said here. A Naval Patrol Craft belonging to the Northern Naval Command, arrested the Indian fishermen along with their fishing trawler in the seas off Delft, in the island's north. "Having brought the arrested fishermen and items to the Naval Base SLNS Elara, they will be handed over to the Jaffna Fisheries Director for onward legal action," navy said. more..

Magistrate Asanka Dissanayake removed from his post

Feb 2 (CG) For the first time in SL’s judicial history a magistrate has been stripped of his position following a complaint lodged by a Civil Society Organization. The official who was stripped of his position is D.M.A.I Dissanayake, who obtained his position by allegedly submitting an application using a false address. Executive Director of Centre for Human Rights (CHR) Keerthi Tennakoon lodged a complaint against Dissanayake’s appointment at Judicial Services Commission. more..

Land acquisition in Colombo continues under militarized environment: CPA

Feb 2 (LBO) The working class poor in Colombo endure rushed evictions and land acquisition under militarized civilian institutions, a system that has not entirely changed with a change of govt, according to the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA). “Previous govt’s Urban Regeneration Programme, which is being continued by the present Govt, aims to beautify the city and create a slum-free capital,” report states. more..

President opens newly built ward complex at Infectious Disease Hospital

Feb 2 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena opened the newly built ward complex and the dental surgery unit at the Infectious Disease Hospital (Fever Hospital), today. This ward complex was constructed with the assistance of the SL Army for treatment of dengue patients. President presented mementos to Commander of Security Forces, Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe appreciating the assistance provided in constructing the buildings and for the SL Navy for deploying nurses for the hospital. more..

Bill to screen convicts under suspended sentences

Feb 2 (DN) Cabinet this week approved a bill which would amend the Prevention of Crimes Ordinance to allow the police (through a court order) to keep under supervision an accused in a case of a suspended sentence, if he has a proven previous conviction until the expiry of the suspended sentence. The proposal made by Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe will be gazetted soon and presented to Parliament for approval. The amendments also sought to make provisions more..

Indian entrepreneurs want road link with Sri Lanka across Palk Strait

Feb 2 (ENS) Representatives of Indian companies who exhibited their products at the Jaffna International Trade Fair from Jan 27 to 29, were unanimously of the view that for the development and trade and investment between India and the Tamil-speaking Northern Province of Sri Lanka, the construction of a road linking Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu with Thalaiamannar in North Sri Lanka is a must. more..

Video: Harsha shares his unpleasant experience

Feb 2 (DM) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva today posted a video on his facebook account showing an unpleasant experience he had to witness where some skulls and bones, unearthed during a road construction, were thrown by the roadside in Borella. When asked, the people who were at work on the location had told him that they were from the Western Province Road Development Authority and the skulls and bones were unearthed during the construction of a road. more..

Video: CV has become a ghost: Dayasiri

Feb 2 (DM) Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran had become nothing but a ghost, who instigated disharmony between the Tamil and Sinhala communities in the country, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said. He requested Tamil people in the North to come forward against the CM’s racist statements, which posed a threat to national harmony. He said law makers couldn’t come forward and speak of power devolution concerning the North, due to racist more..

GMOA threatens TU action over SAITM

Feb 2 (DM) GMOA today threatened to resort to major trade union action next week if its demands with regard to SAITM in Malabe were not addressed. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge told a media briefing that the GMOA took this decision following the unanimous approval of its Central Committee. He said the GMOA would inform President Sirisena and other relevant authorities to intervene in the matter in the coming days. more..

The need for a national trade policy

Feb 3 (Island) I am taking over the Presidency of this Chamber at a very critical period for the world economy as well as the Sri Lankan economy. Sri Lankan economy is going through a paradigm shift with the able leadership of President and PM. We anticipate a shift in the world economy with Donald Trump taking the Presidency of the US. As Sri Lanka aspires to become a higher middle-income country, it will need to adjust its development model and economic growth which more..

Editorial: Of that offer to resign

Feb 3 (Island) Minister P. Harrison has offered to resign from Parliament if the Joint Opposition’s allegation that he has caused a Rs. 10 bn loss to the country through a paddy racket is proved. His critics including President Sirisena’s brother, Dudley, who himself is a rice mill owner, insist that the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) stocks have been sold below the market prices and middlemen have made a killing. The JO has made complaints against Harrison to the CIABOC and the CID. more..

RTI, the govt opens itself to the public

Feb 3 (SO) In exactly a weeks’ time the RTI would kick in. Right to Information (RTI) was a mission lobbied for and by, many activists, some within the government ranks, as well as people who were vociferous on media freedom and making information available to the general public. To reap its benefit people must utilize this piece of legislature, and for that they need to be aware and knowledgeable of what they are privy to, and more..

Tamil question: No heroes, no traitors

Feb 3 (CT) In pursuit of a solution to Sri Lanka’s nagging problem, the Tamil Question, most of our leaders chose to ignore the obvious and dug deep into the respective distorted histories of the two ethnic communities; they inhabited a comfort zone of historical superiorities, cultural dominances and vituperative politics of the times. They lacked empathy; they lacked understanding and they sadly lacked spine to tell their own supporters that there is another way but a difficult one, more..

Govt’s poisonous suggestion

Feb 3 (CT) Croton plants which line most gardens in Sri Lankan homes, adding colour and flair to the scenery, have now been recommended for consumption by the govt. On Monday (23) a media conference was held by the Public Rights Protection Foundation to launch and publicize food preparation using Jak and Croton leaves that was introduced by the Agricultural Ministry to be used in a situation where food will be scarce. Codiaeum Variegatum which is the scientific name for Croton is more..

Let’s save our wild elephants

Feb 3 (ST) Tiny babies in crisis — searing, heartbreaking, stark and haunting images that will never be forgotten, words being inadequate to describe them fully. As the images captured from different parts of the country stilled all activity in a room of the SL Foundation Institute, the disturbing thought that rushed through many a mind was that the babies may already be dead. No doubt, while their lives would be traumatic and torturous, more..

Waiting in the wings

Feb 3 (DN) For all intents and purposes, the main parliamentary opposition to the govt has come from the group calling itself the Joint Opposition within the parliamentary group elected from the UPFA at the August 2015 general election. Last week, the JO took an enormous political step: it held a rally in Nugegoda where the main drawcard was former President Rajapaksa. This was the JO’s way of signalling to the govt that a challenge was imminent, more so in the wake of MR's announcement more..

State and the status of religion

Feb 3 (DN) The other day I was watching a panel discussion where an eminent scholar mentioned that Sri Lanka is a Buddhist nation. I do not treat his opinion as an isolated case because there is a segment of population, particularly within Buddhists, who wholeheartedly agree with him. These Buddhists claim that we became a Buddhist nation when Arahant Mahinda arrived in Sri Lanka in 3rd century BC. According to their thinking, the status quo remained uninterrupted more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Promoting conciliation or irritation among citizens?

Feb 3 (CT) "If Good Things are caused to happen, then, they have to be meant for some beneficiaries. As the experts who have been defending their proposals have been keeping on saying that the decentralizing authority through the creation of smaller power bases to enable active participation of the citizens, the trimming of the authoritative capacity of the Governors of the Provincial Councils by vesting their powers with the Chief Ministers, delegation of Police Authority to more..