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New law to standardize degrees from state, non-state universities

Feb 25 (DM) Amid the continuing controversy on the quality of higher education offered by private sector educational institutions, the Higher Education Ministry is to introduce legislation in Parliament to standardize the degree courses offered by State and non-State institutions, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. The Bill, if enacted, will also apply to the SAITM which offers private medical education. The minister said he would present the Quality Assurance Bill within the next two months more..

Two ministers lock horns over SAITM approval

Feb 25 (Island) Minister S.B. Dissanayake lashed out at Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera for blaming Higher Education Ministry for approving the SAITM to conduct MBBS programme in 2011 in violation of the recommended procedure. Dissanayake was the Higher Education Minister in Rajapaksa administration at the time. He claimed that Minister Jayasekera did not know what he was talking about and didn’t even contact him more..

Latest breakthroughs in natural cures

Feb 25 (DM) Dr. Al Sears, MD is one of the US’ leading anti-aging doctors. He has made it his life’s work to challenge conventional medical beliefs and bring his patients the latest breakthroughs in natural cures and remedies to diseases once thought to be incurable. Dr. Sears takes a fresh, novel approach to patient health and wellness. Our environment and food supply has changed for the worse and this is affecting our health. He helps patients return to their Native Health and escape accelerated aging more..

Controversy over BASL role in Judge’s appointment – what really happened

Feb 25 (DM) The appointment by President Sirisena of Ramanathan Kannan as a High Court Judge has opened up a controversy after the Judicial Service Association (JSA) protested the appointment. JSA has called on the Chief Justice and Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to reconsider their decision and to recommend his removal, citing Article 111 (2) of the constitution (which says that High Court Judges shall be appointed on the recommendation of the JSC after consultation with the AG). more..

'I have no authority to postpone elections'

Feb 25 (DM) The new electoral system is a hot topic of conversation with Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya at the centre of it all. Deshapriya sheds light on the formulation of the new electoral system and the violations of democracy brought about by the delay of elections. He shared the following. Q: In this discussion about the new electoral system, you are considered as a vital link. more..

Ongoing battle between trustees and WAKF board

Feb 25 (SL) Despite number of allegations level against the Sri Lanka WAKF Tribunal (SLWT), especially by the trustees of popular mosques with shrines, Muslims Religious and Cultural Affairs Minister Abdul Haleem stressed that the Board is acting independently and would take appropriate steps at the right time. However, he agreed that there were few delays when it comes to taking solution on some issues. more..

Villagers dig in on land demand, military says not sitting on private property

Feb 25 (ST) When Sathees Kawsalya, along with her family of three children left their house in April, 2009, as the war entered the final stages, she was hoping to return home. She survived but has yet to go home. Since then, she along with other 243 families from Keppapulavu, Mullaithivu have been waiting for more than 8 years to return to their homes and lands. Previous govt resettled them in a model village more..

Mirissa whale boats to be reined in

Feb 25 (ST) More regulations and guidelines will be imposed on whale-watching boat operators in Mirissa. Licenses will not be issued to vessels this year as part of the measures planned, wildlife officials say. Dept of Wildlife Conservation says regulations will be updated, while Ministry of Tourism wants to upgrade the infrastructure. SL is famous as a popular spot for whale watching, especially blue whales. more..

Mathews to miss Banga Tests

Feb 25 (DM) Angelo Mathews’ hamstring injury will keep him out of the forthcoming Test series against Bangladesh at home, as doctors who assessed him on Tuesday had advised further rest to heal the injury. The Sri Lankan skipper was expected to be fit to lead the side against Bangladesh, having missed out the South African ODI’s and the three-match T20 series against Australia, but healing process seems to take more..

Harsha hails Gota for Trace City

Feb 25 (NS) Taking to his Facebook last week, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva praised Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Former Secretary to Ministry of Defence and Urban Development for making Trace Expert City a reality during his time in office. “One of the best things Gotabhaya Rajapaksa did was to support the ideas of those who proposed Trace City as a hub for IT based innovation after the original plan for the space was cancelled,” more..

More snags foul up Constitution making

Feb 25 (CT) Moves to draft a new National Constitution has hit a few snags because some clauses in the existing Constitution cannot be expunged except through a referendum. The policy framework placed before the country by President Maithripala Sirisena ahead of contesting the 2015 Presidential Election stated that the Executive Presidency will be replaced by an executive system that will be accountable to the Cabinet and Parliament. more..

'No interference by China in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs'

Feb 25 (Island) Opposition and TNA leader R. Sampanthan observed that China did not interfere in the internal affairs of the country whereas India continued to demonstrate interest in the Constitutional Reforms in Sri Lanka. He made this observation when a team from the TNA met a visiting bi-partisan American Congressional delegation. "The TNA leader made this remark when a member of the American team asked us more..

GMOA advice to Dr Senaratne to retain crown as best Health Minister

Feb 25 (Island) GMOA urged Minister Rajitha Senaratne to ensure the quality of doctors produced in the country if he wished to continue to be recognised as the most efficient and best health Minister the country ever had. Responding to a statement made by WHO Regional Director, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, GMOA Secretary Dr Naveen D Zoysa said that the statement would have been made taking into consideration more..

Noyahr’s brutal jigsaw CID finds the pieces

Feb 25 (NS) May 22, 2008 was a usual day for journalist Keith Noyahr until he reached the gates of his home in Dehiwela that night. He was abducted and assaulted by a group of unknown persons as he was about to enter his home premises. The engine of his vehicle was still running which alarmed is wife who in turn contacted her husband’s editorial colleagues. After several frantic calls to the powers that be at the time more..

Sri Lanka’s cricketing history...

Feb 25 (CT) The dropping of Chandimal after a successful 2016 season and not getting on in the following year, is his own fault and none can be blamed for his not playing the game in awareness. There is one good thing that has come out of the recent changes that have taken place with the selection of players. The system to go for newer players according to their performances in the domestic set up has been working to an extent. The unfortunate thing is its success being only more..

Plight of the poorest of the poor; Is it getting better or worse?

Feb 25 (CT) In a desolate landscape, orphaned by any promise of rain or wind, in a still gloomy surrounding of trees and shrub, a lone farmer is tilling his land until sunset. Sunset in this arid zone is a spectacle of rioting colors, all the colors of the rainbow, from crimson red to violet and orange and blue, all dancing to a riotous order. But our farmer is woefully oblivious of that brilliant splendor. Far out on the horizon, a hazy column of clouds deters any human eye from seeing more..

මිනිසාගේ හොඳම මිතුරා ගැන ඔබ දන්නේ මොනවාද?

Protesting disabled veterans calls for talks

Feb 25 (NR) The disabled war veterans protesting opposite the Colombo Fort Railway station claim, they will continue their protest until they are granted an opportunity to discuss their concerns with President Sirisena. The protesters claimed they are yet to receive a favourable response to their grievances. A spokesman of Ministry of Defence said the group of protesters should meet with officials of Defence Ministry to inform of their concerns. more..

India's misadventure in Sri Lanka

Feb 25 (NST) Indian magazine The Week caricatured the 1987 India-Sri Lanka Agreement in mythological terms: Ravana need not kidnap Seeta to get Rama to invade Lanka — a mere pact is enough! For almost three decades, India has been accused of conducting a misadventure in Sri Lanka, sending thousands of soldiers for peace-keeping, where it got thrashed diplomatically, and at home, politically. Worse — it had to leave the island nation with 1,138 soldiers killed and 2,762 wounded more..

UK Labour Party to extend support for Lankan Tamils: report

Feb 25 (PTI) UK's main opposition Labour Party will reaffirm its strongest possible support for the Sri Lankan Tamils to express their solidarity with the minority community in both the countries, a media report said on Saturday. Leading figures from the party, including leader, Jeremy Corbyn, Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, and the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry will be attending the Tamils for Labour event more..

Prison officer declines to be involved in probe after death threat

Feb 25 (Island) A senior Prison official appointed to a committee to probe into an incident where a high ranking prison officer attached to Pallekele Prison had allegedly obtained a bribe of two million rupees to extend favours to a prisoner convicted on a drug related offence, has declined to serve in the committee after he received death threats from the suspect. A highly placed prison officer said that now the investigation was handled by a team of officers from the Colombo Crime Division. more..

NGO pounces on JVP, FSP for creating environment for govt to suppress students

Feb 25 (Island) Civil society grouping, the Left Centre that campaigned for Maithripala Sirisena at the January 2015 presidential poll has accused the JVP and breakaway JVP faction, the Front-line Socialist Party (FSP) of creating an environment conducive for the government to suppress undergraduates. Chameera Perera, Co Convenor of the Left Centre on Thursday alleged that the Inter-University Students Federation (IUSF) was pursuing destructive campaign in universities. more..

SL once embraced Chinese investment are now wary of Chinese domination

Feb 25 (LAT) A highway built by China threads almost all the way from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, to this scruffy fishing town on the country’s southern tip, where Buddhist chants mark the time of day and wild elephants occasionally lumber through. On the way, drivers pass a quiet international airport, a cricket stadium that holds wedding receptions more often than sporting matches, and a foundering deep-sea port more..

SLFPers keen on amendments not new constitution: Dilan

Feb 25 (DM) The SLFP said yesterday the country needed only constitutional amendments but not a change of the Constitution. Party Spokesman and State Minister Dilan Perera said this was the opinion of a majority of SLFP members. He said if the country opted for a change of the Constitution, it would not be able to introduce even amendments to the current constitution. “We will submit our proposals on those lines to the Steering Committee,” he said. more..

GMOA explains stretching of token strikes to 24 hours

Feb 25 (Island) The GMOA said that its constitution sanctioned 24 hour token strikes which had resulted in the members of the branch unions in the Eastern and North Central provinces opting to strike for one entire day on Thursday. GMOA Secretary Dr Naveen D. Zoysa said that although the mother union had instructed its provincial branches to strike for four hours they had given them the option of convening a meeting before launching the strike to decide on the time span. more..

Special corp. to handle development in South: PM

Feb 25 (DM) A special corporation will be set up to take care of development activities in the southern province and all lands will be handed over to it, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He made these remarks at the opening of UNP office in Akmeemana. "There was a southern region development authority in the past. However it was dissolved later. We would have handed over these lands to this authority if it existed today," more..

Kula says Lena Hendry conviction makes no sense

Feb 25 (FMT) Kula Segaran of the DAP says the conviction of activist Lena Hendry does not make sense especially at a time when information is easily accessible. Hendry, the programme manager for Pusat Komas was found guilty by the Magistrate’s Court earlier this week for screening a documentary on the atrocities committed during the Sri Lankan civil war, without the approval of the Censorship Board. In a statement, DAP’s national vice-chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat said, more..

'We want the UPFA to be rid of racism and corruption'

Feb 25 (NR) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says he wants the UPFA coalition to be free of racism and corruption. He made this statement, referring to the request made by MP Wimal Weerawansa to have the NFF act independently in Parliament. He said, “there is no agreement between the NFF and the UPFA. It is just a political party. There are several others. MP Wimal Weerawansa made this statement. We prefer the UPFA coalition be clean and free of racism and corruption”. more..

Video: MR to sue Finance Ministry, CBSL

Feb 25 (AD) I’m seeking legal assistance to sue the Finance Ministry and Central Bank, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says. “After 9 Jan, I am no longer the Minister of Finance of this country,” Rajapaksa said. He also went on to say his successors at the Finance Ministry have allegedly siphoned off state money by using his name. “I’m taking legal actions,” he added. Rajapaksa made the observations while more..

1500 students denied Uni education

Feb 25 (CT) Some 1,500 students are deprived of a university education each year owing to the irresponsibility of those who had been selected earlier, Minister Dayaysiri Jayasekera said. He said a large number of students who have been registered for entry at universities fail to show up since they obtain employment and in some instances opt for other education courses such as in the Dental Faculty, accountancy etc. As a result some 1,500-plus students from next batch more..

Bar Association election rescheduled on 15 Match

Feb 25 (AD) Election to choose a President to the Bar Association has been rescheduled to be held on 15 March, the Secretary of the association said. The election to decide a President to association which was scheduled to be held last week was postponed until further notice on 20 February. Lawyers U.R. de Silva, Anura Medagoda and R.R.S. Thangarajah are contesting for the presidency post, its President Geoffrey Alagaratnam said. more..

Karuna opts for cooperative politics

Feb 25 (Roar) While Tamil people of the North and the East engage in hunger strikes or turn to newly enacted laws to resolve long-standing problems, a former deputy Minister feels the Tamil community deserves the option of a fresh political approach. LTTE Special Commander turned Sri Lankan politician, V Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, recently announced the launch of a new political party in the East. more..

They weighed their worth in gold

Feb 25 (DM) During the debate sessions in the august assembly, some members would meet in a quiet corner to enjoy a chit-chat. What they usually talked about are matters pertaining to their private life. The other day a young state purohita from the central hills and a fair and lovely member were seen engaged in an intimate conversation in the chamber while a debate was on in full steam. Despite being from opposite sides of the divide the duo are said to be thick chums & would often meet for a chat, more..

Two H1N1 patients at Anuradhapura Hospital

Feb 25 (DN) Two patients admitted to the Anuradhapura Hospital have been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. This is the first time the hospital has admitted patients with H1N1 and the doctors report that the patients were residents of Kilinochchi who came to the hospital for treatment. Young children and pregnant mothers arriving at the hospital have been warned to be cautious and alerted on the any spread of infection. Two patients have been transferred to the ICU for treatment more..

Wearing protective helmets made mandatory

Feb 25 (DM) Minsiter Nimal Siripla De Silva issued a gazette notice making it mandatory all motorcyclists including pillion riders to wear a protective helmet which does not conceal any part of the wearer's face. According to the new regulations the helmet should fit the wearer’s head and secured with a chin strap. Helmet would be fitted with a visor not made of a tinted or coloured material with the face exposed & unobstructed peripheral vision. more..

Prevailing dry weather affects 16 districts: steps to compensate affected

Feb 25 (GDI) Prevailing Dry Weather has affected people in 16 districts while a number of acres of agricultural lands is being destroyed and that extent of land is being assessed at the Divisional Secretariat level. Accordingly, govt has decided to continuously provide compensations for the owners of these agricultural lands for four months from March. Rs. 10,000 will be granted for a destroyed acre of paddy field while other crop plantations are also compensated, more..

Jaffna University unions voice indignation against bar on Thiagalingam for VC

Feb 25 (CT) Colombo Telegraph has published two reports (Report 1 and Report 2) on the developments in the election of the new Vice Chancellor at the University of Jaffna. After many bitter years of stagnation, many people have come to see the University as the obstacle to openness and progressive change. This is evident in the fear of the mere the candidacy for VC of Prof. Sam Thiagalingam, who has had a successful academic career in the USA. more..

Southern Expressway sinks into political hole

Feb 25 (NS) Work on the fourth stage of the construction of the Southern Expressway has hit a major snag due to a massive 100-foot crater spreading over two acres of land is blocking the road trace  earmarked for the project. According to engineers, the crater is part of a rock quarry operated by an individual with political backing. The feasibility reports were already completed for the said location under more..

Earnest request to terminate the unlawful court vacation system

Feb 25 (Island) In a letter sent by senior customs officer turned attorney at law Nagananda Kodituwakku to Chief Justice K. Sripavan recently he has made an earnest appeal to the CJ to reform the long court vacations that contribute to law’s delays. The letter sent to the CJ on February 20 is as follows: ‘Further to a fact-finding study undertaken on the Court Vacation System presently in force in Sri Lanka, I consider it is proper and right to make this request on behalf of more..

SL improves on global Democracy Index

Feb 25 (NR) Sri Lanka has been placed 66th among recognised countries by The Economist magazine’s Democracy Index. Index takes into consideration the country’s election process, govt-funded facilities, political participation, political culture and civil freedom. Sri Lanka has scored 6.48 points in the 2016 Democracy Index which is an imprvement comparing scores of 6.42 in 2015 and 5.69 in 2014. Amongst countries in the Asia Pacific region, Sri Lanka is placed 12th. more..