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With nothing we come, with nothing we go

Feb 28 (DM) As we enter March tomorrow, instead of focusing on the cliché of Ides, we need to reflect deeply on inter-religious unity in diversity and how the power of liberative spirituality could empower the country and the people to face four main issues among others. In SL and worldwide, these have been identified as poverty alleviation, the battle against climate change, the peaceful resolution of conflicts and a sustainable development strategy which is eco-friendly and all-inclusive. more..

SAITM issue is much more than SAITM itself

Feb 28 (DM) President Sirisena says a decision on the private medical school, SAITM in Malabe will be made after consulting all parties to the dispute. Perhaps the right thing to do is to implement the Court ruling which has already been issued on the matter -- unless the Supreme Court rules otherwise. Changing and withholding the laws to appease an articulate minority of detractors has been an age-old practice in this country and have contributed to the overall breakdown of the rule of law. more..

Peradeniya uni organised criminals had secret off-campus torture chamber

Feb 28 (ST) An off-campus night session of fresher abuse by 15 second-year Peradeniya University undergraduates were rudely interrupted last Sunday when officials walked in on the perpetrators who enjoy free education at public expense. Suspected abusers in this cases are being characterised as organised criminals by police and university officials. Psychiatrists believe undergraduate abusers are narcissists and more..

Mullaitivu protesters to get back land

Feb 28 (FT) TNA head R. Sampanthan, said Govt had given a guarantee that protesters demanding their land in Keppapilavu and Mullaitivu would be given access to it within the next few days, following discussions held with the President and the Commanders of the Army and Air Force.  Sampanthan and two other TNA MPs yesterday met President to explore solutions to the demands of private owners of land, more..

PGIM disregards ministry instructions

Feb 28 (SL) Despite a request by the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine to the Director Post Graduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM), to expedite the stalled postgraduate training programme for the Diplomates in Critical Care Medicine, the latter has so far failed to abide by the Ministry instructions. PGIM has come under severe criticism for preventing Diplomates in Critical Care Medicine (CCM) from sitting Medical Degree more..

Megapolis light rail feasiblity starts

Feb 28 (EN) A feasibility study on building a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in Colombo starts today with expressions of interest and request for proposals to be called by year-end, an official said. An LRT system was needed to cater to anticipated transport demand in the planned Western Province Megapolis region, covering Colombo and its suburbs, said Dimantha De Silva, Senior Lecturer at the University of Moratuwa more..

SL & Seychelles to jointly fight drug menace

Feb 28 (PSL) President of Seychelles, Danny Faure praised President Maithripala Sirisena’s campaign against illegal drugs and said his country would extend fullest cooperation to Sri Lanka’s endeaour to stop drugs and narcotics smuggling. He said this when he called on President Sirisena at the President’s Official Residence today (27). Two leaders discussed the whole range of bilateral relations, especially about more..

Deportation of student halted hours before she was due to board plane

Feb 28 (TG) A talented student is hoping to finish her university course at a British university after coming within hours of being removed from UK by immigration officials. Shiromini Satkunarajah, 20, was arrested last week and was expecting to be put on a plane to the country of her birth, Sri Lanka, at 9pm on Tuesday. Late on Monday night, the Home Office’s command and control unit confirmed the removal had been deferred more..

Constitutional Council recommends Priyasath Dep as new Chief Justice

Feb 28 (LBO) Constitutional Council (CC) which met last evening has recommended Supreme Court judge Priyasath Dep for the Chief Justice post. After the meeting CC member Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne said the council headed by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya reached a decision to recommend Priyasath Dep as the next Chief Justice. Recommendation has already been sent to President who will officially announce more..

Sri Lanka seeks higher bids for ailing airline

Feb 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is seeking higher bids to restructure its state-owned loss-making airline, the finance minister said on Monday, after three short-listed firms failed to give sizable bids. Sri Lanka wants to sell up to 49% of the national carrier along with management control, part of a move by the govt to reduce support for state-owned firms and cut debt. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said govt has not decided on more..

Video: Mystery gazette on G-Secs unravelled

Feb 28 (DM) The recently surfaced mystery gazette notification with regard to govt securities (G-Secs) is part of an obsolete law, which the Central Bank has been attempting to comply with, and the law would be amended as soon as possible, the country’s economic managers said yesterday. Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said that gazetting G-Sec issuances at the start of a year would have more..

Mangala to deliver Sri Lanka’s national statement in Geneva today

Feb 28 (FT) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will address the UNHRC in Geneva today, delivering a speech that will outline Sri Lanka’s reconciliation and justice efforts since 2015 and appeal for more time to deliver on its transitional justice pledges as the country reckons with its violent past.  Sri Lanka is likely to seek a two-year extended timeframe to implement recommendations contained in UNHRC resolution 30/1 which more..

COPE chairmen should be made observers: Socialist Alliance

Feb 28 (Island) Former Chairman of COPE D. E. W. Gunasekera and his successor Sunil Handunnetti should be included in the Presidential Commission probing the Central Bank bond scams at least as observers, the Socialist Alliance (SA) demanded. Matara District MP and Deputy Chairman of SL Communist Party Chandrasiri Gajadheera said that Gunasekera and Handunnetti had headed the COPE while the parliamentary watch dog committee was investigating the bond scams. more..

Sri Lanka completes Megapolis water transport study, EOIs soon

Feb 28 (EN) The govt has completed a pre-feasibility study on inland water transport in the planned Megapolis urban agglomeration project with Dutch got support and investment proposals will be called soon. Inland water transport is an untouched source that can support planned improvements in rail nd bus transprot and a new Light Rail System in the Megapolis region covering Colombo and its suburbs, said Dimantha De Silva, Senior Lecturer at the University of Moratuwa and more..

රටේම කුසගිනි නිවන්නට දහදිය හෙළන ගොවීන්

Trying to understand Keppapilavu

Feb 28 (CT) For the past 28 days, Tamil people of Keppapilavu and Puthukkudiyiruppu in Mullaitivu district including women and children have been protesting against the authoritarian occupation of their homelands by the SL military and Air Force. These people who were displaced during the civil war wish to go back to their homes and lands. To return to and resettle in places where they had been living for decades is not just these people’s wish but it is their right too. more..

Have Police a licence to kill?

Feb 28 (CT) It's not every day the Sri Lanka Police get commended and appreciated for a job well done. Rarely does the occasion arise where the media (or even the general public) praise the Police for their service. And sadly, this is not such an occasion either. The week began with a serious black mark on the Police. Notably becoming the first major Police brutality case reported for this year, a sub inspector and four constables, of the Peliyagoda Police were arrested in connection with more..

Govt gives priority to welfare of underprivileged

Feb 28 (PSL) “Even though the country has to face different kind of economic challenges due to the global economic crisis, Govt has given priority to the welfare of the underprivileged people”, said President Maithripala Sirisena. He made these remarks addressing the inaugural session of the Workshop on Sustainable Finance organized by the Central Bank, jointly with the Sustainable Banking Network (SBN) more..

1.65 kg gold seized at airport, nine Lanka natives held

Feb 28 (TOI) In a major catch, the customs sleuths on Monday seized 1.65kg gold from nine passengers from Sri Lanka at Trivandrum International Airport. The gold worth Rs 46.02 lakh was seized from Colombo natives. They had arrived at the airport in a SriLankan airline flight UL 1161, which landed at 4am. The gold brought in the form of jewellery (bangles, rings and necklaces) was worn by the passengers. The passengers, one man and eight women were intercepted by more..

44th SL Chief Justice K Sripavan retires

Feb 28 (NR) 44th Chief Justice K Sripavan will retire from service today. Justice Sripavan was a Deputy Solicitor General, a judge and a President of Court of Appeal before being appointed as the Chief Justice on the 30th of Jan 2015. He obtained his primary education at the Hindu College, Jaffna. He joined the SL Law College in 1974 and completed his Attorney At law in 1976. Chief Justice Sripavan joined the Attorney General’s Department as an acting State Counsel in 1978. more..

Prison bus shooting: Investigation begins

Feb 28 (NR) Police says prompt investigations are being held over the shooting of a prison bus in Malwatta, Kalutara which resulted in the death of 7 individuals. Office of the Police Media Spokesman said several suspects involved in the shooting have been identified thus far. The suspects, dressed in clothes similar to the police uniform, fired shots at the prison bus in Kalutara last morning. The vehicle used by the suspects more..

I never wanted to become a thug: Samayan

Feb 28 (DM) Aruna Udayashantha alias Ranale Samayan, prominent underworld figure who was murdered yesterday, told Lankadeepa in 2015 that he never wanted to become a thug. He expressed this following a telephone interview with Lankadeepa in October, 2015, weeks after he was injured when a gunman opened fire at him inside the Kaduwela Court premises. Q; Can I call you Aruna or Samayan? A; No issues. Just call me Aruna. Q: But why do everyone call you Samayan? more..

Doctors at Prison Hospital to be replaced

Feb 28 (AD) Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne stated that all doctors who had been working at the Prison Hospital will be replaced and transferred to different appointments, during a press conference held at the Health Ministry. The decision was made after several complaints had been lodged accusing the doctors of allowing politicians with a jail sentence being admitted to the hospital, for no apparent reason, sources reveal. An investigation carried out by Ada Derana revealed more..

SAITM CEO shooting was staged: Police

Feb 28 (AD) Police today said that investigations into the recent shooting carried out targeting the CEO of SAITM, Dr Sameera Senaratne, have uncovered that the incident was staged in order to falsely portray a threat to his life. It was reported that a certain individual had fired several shots at the vehicle of the SAITM CEO in Mulleriyawa on Feb 2. Colombo Organised Crimes Division had launched an investigation more..

New UN Secretary-General to visit Sri Lanka

Feb 28 (CT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera who is presently in Geneva to participate in the High-Level segment of the 34th Session of the UNHRC met UN Secretary-General Antonio Gueterres yesterday. This was the first meeting of the Minister with the new UN Secretary-General who took office in January this year. Recalling his several visits to SL from 1978 onwards including as High Commissioner for Refugees, the Secretary-General said that SL is a country that is very dear to his heart. more..

Tamils hold protest in Sri Lanka as UNHRC begins session

Feb 28 (PTI) Hundreds of Tamil people, mostly relatives of those who disappeared during SL civil war, today held protest outside the missions of India, the US, UK and EU here as the UNHRC session began in Geneva. The protesters held placards which said India please help in demilitarisation (in the north) and India stop betraying Tamils. They later also held protest opposite the Secretariat of President Sirisena, demanding the release of civilians lands held for military purposes. more..

Video: Health Minister must state his opinion on AC ruling: GMOA

Feb 28 (DM) GMOA wrote to Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne to state his frank opinion on the Appeal Court ruling on the SAITM in Malabe instead making contradictory statements. GMOA Secretary Dr. Naveen D. Zoysa said that the Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) who appeared for Minister Senaratne had told courts that SL Medical Council was not empowered to visit private institutions such as the SAITM. more..

Produce Duminda in Court: Magistrate

Feb 28 (DM) Duminda Silva had been ordered to be produced in court following a report given by a panel of doctors of the Colombo National Hospital. Colombo Additional Magistrate directed the Prisons Department to produce Silva before Court. Examining the suspect's health condition, a panel of consultants in their report said that there was no obstacle to produce the suspect before court. Earlier the court directed the Prisons Department to produce suspect Duminda Silva before more..

PM tells Harrison to consult gods

Feb 28 (CT) Minister of Rural Economic Affairs P. Harisson was advised to consult an astrologer prior to choosing a location for his ministry, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday at the opening of the Ministry's new HQ. "I also told him to seek the blessings from all Gods and to look at Vasthu Vidya (a traditional architectural system). I asked him to find a good place that will ensure that there will be no rice shortages in the future," a humourous Wickremesinghe said. more..

In Sri Lanka's Tea paradise, A social enterprise is brewing

Feb 28 (NPR) In 1890, Sir Thomas Lipton arrived on the island of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, to purchase a plot of land that would become the first tea estate in his global tea empire. These days, in the Ambadandegama Valley located just a few miles from Lipton's original estate, another experiment in tea production is unfolding. Tucked into the side of a precipitous mountain, Amba Estate is a tea operation that shares 10% of its more..

High incidence of sexual harassment in public transport

Feb 28 (CT) Nearly 90% of women travelling in public transport are subjected to sexual harassment, a study commissioned by the UN Population Fund revealed. The study, carried out in 2015 via stakeholder consultation, individual interviews and questioner survey, and had received information from a sample of 2,500 individuals covering all parts of the country. According to the survey, 12.1% women are subjected to sexual harassment daily, 16.4% weekly and 25.8% monthly. more..

SAITM CEO relived of duties

Feb 28 (DM) SAITM CEO Dr. Sameera Senaratne has been temporarily relieved of duties as CEO with immediate effect, SAITM management said today. SAITM management announced that the decision was taken to ensure absolute transparency and facilitate the Police investigations into the attempted shooting at Dr. Senaratne recently. SAITM Chairman said in a statement that Dr. Senaratne had also informed its management that he had stepped down from his post from Feb 28. more..

JO trying to incite army coup: UNP

Feb 28 (DN) Joint Opposition (JO) is trying to incite an army coup by prorogating falsehood that the govt is on a witch-hunt against war heroes, UNP back benchers complained today. UNP MP Mujibur Rahman and Wijayapala Hettiarachchi said JO is engaged in a conspiracy to turn the country’s armed forces against the Govt through provocation. They also complained that the series of protests in and around Colombo more..

'UNP collapse in 2002 halted development'

Feb 28 (NR) Minister Lakshman Kiriella says several development projects were suspended due to the collapse of the UNP led govt in 2002. Speaking at an event in Kandy, he said all development projects were implemented in the South during the UPFA led govt. Minister said all are aware that the Central Province was given the step-motherly treatment during the UPFA led govt. He said all development projects including ports and sports grounds were implemented in the South. more..

Video: Geetha sad about Samayan’s killing

Feb 28 (DM) Galle District JO MP Geetha Kumarasinghe said today it was disheartening to see people like Damith Udayanga Pathirana alias Samayan being killed and University students being attacked. She expressed these at a news conference organised by the JO Women Representatives over the upcoming World Women’s Day and Govt’s negligence over the issues of women. MP Kumarasinghe said that JO women political leaders would conduct a protest more..

Sri Lanka's consumer price inflation hits record high on drought

Feb 28 (Reuters) SL's consumer price inflation hit a record high of 6.8% in February under a new index, pushed up by the impact of a lingering drought and base-year effects. This could be a cause of concern as the central bank has said the conduct of monetary policy will be strengthened through the move towards a flexible inflation targeting (FIT) framework. The inflation, measured on CCPI, rose to 6.8% in February more..

AG’s appeal for enhanced punishment for killers of Khuram Shaikah

Feb 28 (Island) The Court of Appeal has allowed parties time till April 6 to file written submissions, pertaining to the appeal filed by the Attorney General seeking to enhance the sentence of culpable homicide, not amounting to murder imposed by the Colombo High court on Chairman of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Sampath Vidanapathirane and five other accused indicted in respect of the murder of Khuram  Sheikah Zaman, a British National and sexual assault more..

Joint Opposition requests Speaker for debate on economic issues

Feb 28 (NR) Joint Opposition has requested Speaker to convene Parliament and hold a debate on the economic issues in the island. UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardene said SL’s cash outflow exceeds the cash inflow received from the IMF. MP said the foreign exchange including the rupee is devaluing by the day, claiming that the situation impacts the entire country. He also said Finance Minister has to take responsibility for the gazette notification on controversial bond issue. more..

Video: Mangala tells UNHRC, Sri Lanka determined to address concerns

Feb 28 (CG) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the UNHRC, Sri Lanka is determined to address concerns on human rights. He said this while addressing the high-level segment of the 34th session of the UNHRC in Geneva today. Minister said that Sri Lanka has made progress on several fronts over the past two years. He also said that some elements are attempting to derail the ongoing reconciliation process. more..