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Three Cheers! SAITM is cleared!

Feb 5 (SO) The protesters against the private medical college at the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine should shut up now and get about their work – the GMOA, manning the govt medical services; the university students back to their reading and research; the JHU and other groups turning their eyes to larger issues and dangerous mishaps in the country. Menika was at a family dinner breaking roti together to bid goodbye to an expat on holiday, who was returning to more..


Govt’s ambitious economic plans and China’s great game in region

Feb 5 (SO) SL govt’s agreement with China over the development of the Hambantota harbour has stirred many debates in the political and diplomatic circles, over the past few months. Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration had a logical reason to enter into the agreement. Under the previous govt, Sri Lanka walked into a serious debt-trap, mainly due to former President Rajapaksa’s penchant for large-scale development and construction projects which made little sense in terms of business. more..

Do today’s sportsmen lack capacity?

Feb 5 (NS) There are times where parents push their children in sport. This challenge also tests the capacity of the child. Capacity is a nice word. It denotes substance in a person. Coaches love such children who can play multiple roles and don’t complain when circumstances stretch them to the maximum. It’s a coach’s dream to have a team full of them. In sport, we have two kinds of sportsmen; the ones who are born to do sport and the ones who are made. more..

OBAs’, PPAs’ finger in Grade 1 admissions

Feb 5 (SO) Grade One admissions have become a controversial issue and matters came to a head last week with the interdiction of 7 school officials at a popular Colombo school. There have been persistent allegations of malpractices and corruption in school admissions, and the Govt decided to investigate the process at several schools. We spoke to several school officials to get a clearer picture of the whole drama. more..

Determination required to improve on their game

Feb 5 (CT) It is quite obvious that the Sri Lankans have not competed well at all in the One day series so far. No amount of criticism is going to help the team unless and otherwise they show the determination needed. With three games to go the next game is do or die for Sri Lanka as this will naturally tell us whether the series will be lost or not. Hence from a Sri Lankan point of view it is hoped the effort and result will be better. In the two games so far the Lankans have been out classed more..

Cry beloved country while you celebrate National Day

Feb 5 (CT) As I sit word-processing this article on Thursday 2 Feb morning, I hear jets flash fast across the skies and know that a rehearsal is on for Saturday 4 Feb when Sri Lanka celebrates its independence from colonial rule got in 1948. We now celebrate this fourth day of the second month of the year as our National Day. That is good; that is how it should be. We will have the parades of the armed forces on Galle Face Green; the warships sailing past; the jets screeching across more..

SLFP wants to reconsider abolishing Executive Presidency ?

Feb 5 (CT) Sri Lanka yesterday celebrated the 69th anniversary of gaining independence from Britain, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of Independence Day sent the following message: "It gives me great pleasure to send Your Excellency Maithripala Sirisena my congratulations on the celebration of your National Day, together with my best wishes for the good fortune and happiness of the people of SL more..

‘Sri Lanka sees public-private partnerships with Jordan’

Feb 5 (JT) Public-private partnerships are essential to tap the huge potential for increased cooperation between Jordan and Sri Lanka in tourism and economic fields, according to Sri Lankan Ambassador Abdul Latiff Lafeer. As the embassy celebrates Sri Lanka’s 69th independence day on Sunday, the ambassador highlighted tourism and investments sectors as key areas, where public-private partnerships between both countries can help increase cooperation. more..

Du Plessis stunner stings Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (CI) In the Johannesburg Test against Sri Lanka, JP Duminy had chased at an errant uppercut from backward point, and flung himself horizontally near third man to complete a spectacular catch. A similar chance came to him again. When Niroshan Dickwella top edged an uppercut off Kagiso Rabada, Duminy tore after it from backward point again, lined it up perfectly, but this time, could not close his hands on the ball. This had been by far the easiest of the two chances - more..

Pretorius, De Villiers sew up series for SA

Feb 5 (CI) Another day on tour, another collapse - Sri Lanka sank from 60 for no loss to 163 all out at the Wanderers, mis-hitting short balls, hanging their bats out to give catches behind the wicket, and in general committing the same batting mistakes that will have become familiar to their fans during the past six weeks. Of their diminutive target, South Africa made short work. AB de Villiers produced a clinical 60 not out more..

Wanderers scrambles to find Plan Bee

Feb 5 (CI) There are lions, leopards, elephants, cheetah and buffalo all within a few hours' drive from the Wanderers stadium, but it was a more mundane intrusion from the natural world that brought the third ODI to a standstill. Bees swarmed the pitch in the middle of the 26th over, forcing players to momentarily hit the ground, then returned the next over, this time parking themselves very close to the pitch. One faction was even drawn by the Protea crest on de Kock's wicketkeeping helmet. more..

South Africa unveil plans for new T20 league

Feb 5 (CI) Cricket South Africa has put out a tender inviting bids for eight T20 teams that will make up its new tournament to be played in the last quarter of 2017. The competition will be similar to other major T20 tournaments around the world such as the IPL, BBL and CPL, and will be South Africa's flagship event in the format. It will be a completely separate event from the current six-team franchise system. CSA is seeking foreign ownership of the teams and advertisements more..

CM boycotts Independence Day function

Feb 5 (ENS) Chief Minister of NP, C.V. Wigneswaran, boycotted Independence Day function on Saturday, and instead attended protest meetings held at Keppapilavu and Puthukudiyiruppu in Mullaitivu district. Governor of NP, Reginold Cooray, hoisted the national flag, but the CM chose not to be present. A small section of radical Tamil nationalists led by NPC members M.K. Shivajilingam and Ananthy Sasitharan, more..

Big-Three rollback begins, BCCI opposes

Feb 5 (CI) The ICC has, in principle, passed a new constitution that undoes much of the imbalance in power and finances the Big Three had attempted to create in 2014. But in practice it may require more negotiations, particularly on a new revenue-distribution model, before it becomes the new reality. A final decision on that will be taken at the ICC Board's next round of meetings in April. Ten of the 13 ICC Board members present on Saturday (3 Associates representatives' do not have more..

Katchatheevu: CPI leader says retrieving islet the only way to go

Feb 5 (Hindu) Retrieving Katchatheevu is the only long-lasting solution to end the problems facing by fishermen, said Communist Party of India (CPI) national secretary and Rajya Sabha MP D. Raja here on Saturday. Speaking on the sidelines of the state council meeting of his party, Mr. Raja said the governments at the Centre and the State should review the pact signed with Sri Lanka on Katchatheevu, adding that if not, the islet should be retrieved. Adverting to other issues, he said, more..

I was forced into a deal with India, J.R. told U.S. envoy

Feb 5 (Hindu) SL was forced into making a deal with India as its own armed forces had twice refused to take Jaffna, then President J.R. Jayewardene has been quoted as saying in a declassified document, nearly 30 years after the IPKF was deployed in the island nation. Jayewardene told visiting American diplomat Peter Galbraith that he had twice ordered his troops to take Jaffna — burn the place to the groundmore..

Malaysia-Sri Lanka relations must be enhanced for mutual benefit

Feb 5 (Bernama) Existing relations between Malaysia and SL must be enhanced for the mutual benefit of the two countries, says SL High Commissioner to Malaysia, A.J.M. Muzammil. He said relations between the two countries dating back to several centuries had been transformed into a multi-faceted, mutually rewarding partnership encompassing all fields of interest. Citing trade relations as an example, he pointed out that trade relations between Sri Lanka and Malaysia more..

US slaps Sri Lanka tyre exports with anti-dumping tax

Feb 5 (EN) US International Trade Commission has slapped a tax on off-the-road (OTR) tyres on the claim that they are being dumped in the United States by exporters in Sri Lanka. USITC said it has determined that goods are "sold in the US at less than fair value and are subsidized" by Sri Lanka's govt. A similar determination was made against India. US Department of Commerce will issue an anti-dumping order, slapping countervailing duty on imports of tires from Sri Lanka. more..

Request to appoint outsider as CB Deputy Governor

Feb 5 (ST) Central Bank’s Monetary Board recently fielded a request from Minister Ravi Karunanayake to appoint an outsider as Deputy Governor, which is contrary to the usual practice of such appointments being made from amongst senior bank officers based on seniority and experience. The request was made by Treasury Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga at a meeting of the board saying the proposal came from more..

Sooriyawewa off: Still no venues ready for Bangladesh tour

Feb 5 (ST) It is almost certain that there will be no int'l cricket till at least June this year at the Sooriyawewa Stadium which is now in state of disrepair and neglect. Initially it was revealed that when the Bangladeshis tour Sri Lanka in March, one of the ODIs would be played at the Rajapaksa Int'l Stadium at Sooriyawewa. But, owing to constant chopping and fixing, the whole tour itinerary has been turned on its head, with no venues being confirmed so far more..

China will not be allowed to set up military facility at Hambantota port: Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (PTI) Sri Lanka will not allow China to set up a military facility at any port in the country, the Sri Lankan ambassador to Beijing said, adding that Chinese investors have been informed that no civilian facility will be allowed to be used militarily. “We have to consider the concerns of the neighbours. We do not want to create any situation, which may become (a source of) suspicion. We know the Indian Ocean is a very important ocean in international trade,” he said. more..

Lokuwithana snared in new probe?

Feb 5 (CT) It was a double whammy for the controversial SL owner of the Dubai Marriott Nandana Lokuwithana when the govt temporarily halted progress on his mega USD 75 million tyre manufacturing project on a 100-acre Wagawatte property in Horana. This came in a sequel to a probe into the Panama Papers revelations which govt believes Lokuwithana could have links with, and/or whether his alleged overseas accumulated wealth is more..

2,753 school counsellors to be appointed

Feb 5 (SO) Ministry of Education will recruit 2,753 qualified and experienced teachers who possess professional experience in counselling and psychological guidance, as Counsellors. It has been found that many senior students of leading schools countrywide suffer from mental depression, and problematic issues. These students are miserable and helpless as there are no matured elders and teachers who could understand them, even to listen to their burning mental problems. more..

Gemunu demands Rs. 500mn from Dilan

Feb 5 (DM) AITM Medical Faculty Parents Forum Convener Gemunu Wijeratne today said that he would file a defamation case against Minister Dilan Perera demanding Rs. 500 million for allegedly making defamatory remarks on him in Badulla recently. Mr. Wijerathna said that the minister had criticized him in public over the SAITM issue. “Minister Perera made a serious statement against me addressing a rally in Badulla and tarnished my image,” he said. more..

Ravi allows IMF to draft IRA Amendments

Feb 5 (CT) SL records a long history of collecting taxes through many regulations introduced by the rulers from time to time from the ancient times of the kings. Income tax was first introduced in SL in 1932 under the British rule by Ordinance No.2 of 1932 which was in effect from 1 April 1932. Income tax was introduced in SL to meet the revenue requirements of colonial govt. First year of income tax assessment was done in 1931/1932. more..

Rs. 161 b expressway: It’s China again

Feb 5 (ST) In another unsolicited proposal, a Chinese company has been awarded the contract for the construction of the fourth phase of the Central Expressway project. Under the project, Central Expressway between Kurunegala and Dambulla spanning 58.7 km of four lanes is to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 161.61 billion, excluding VAT. Cabinet approval for the project has been granted to obtain a loan from the Exim Bank of China with the project to be carried out by more..

Conflicting views on SriLankan Airlines’ intended partners

Feb 5 (ST) More than eight months after the govt called for bids to resurrect the national carrier SriLankan Airlines, the authorities are groping in the dark in the bid to find a management or equity partner. Conflicting reports on who is in the front running to get the cash-strapped airlines comes almost each day with some parties saying its Texas Pacific Group (TPG) and others saying that Gamini Wettasinghe’s Peace Airways is also pushing for it. There is no clear statement from the govt more..

Bond issue: Only fact-finding role for Commission of Inquiry

Feb 5 (ST) Warrant signed by President for a Commission of Inquiry to probe the CB bond scam of 2015 and 2016 will essentially be a fact finding one, according to its 10-point terms of reference. It has not been mandated to probe any contraventions of the law, but only irregularities and procedures. Commission’s main objective will be to investigate and inquire into the management, administration and conduct of affairs of CB. more..

Facing the new challenges to Freedom

Feb 5 (DN) Stepping into the seventh decade of freedom and independence today, Sri Lanka faces the important challenge of building national unity with the strengthening of democracy and the Rule of Law. Country currently faces issues certainly bigger than those that confronted the leaders and people at the time of independence in 1948. Today’s situation is to do with the absence of a clear policy on national unity at the time of independence, and the failure to develop a comprehensive policy for more..

Long march to freedom

Feb 5 (DN) Sri Lanka gained independence from the British on February 4, 1948, after nearly 150 years of British rule. That is a fact that everyone knows, but most people tend to forget that the country was subjected to colonial rule for a much longer period. Two other colonial powers held sway over various parts of the country from 1505 onwards - the Portuguese and the Dutch. Like the British, they too were naval powers that went in search of trading posts and colonies. more..

Chennai-based NGO helps Sri Lankan Tamil returnees face challenges of resettlement

Feb 5 (ENS) Chennai-based outfit, Organization for Elangai Refugees Rehabilitation (OfERR), is helping Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who have returned to their original homes in north Sri Lanka, to overcome the many difficulties they face in re-settling in their homeland. Though the returnees are in no doubt about the correctness of their decision to come back to their own land, they do face multiple challenges in striking roots in more..

Police promotion and pension for state minister

Feb 5 (ST) Policeman-turned-politician Palitha Range Bandara has had many a brush with the law since he switched professions. The state minister is now in for some good news – the former Inspector of Police is likely to be promoted to the rank of ASP. That will not mean he will join the active ranks but he will receive a pension and possibly a commuted amount too for the period he did not get paid. more..

Dengue reaches epidemic levels

Feb 5 (SO) As dengue cases leap skywards in another full blown epidemic, health officials across the country are left struggling against heavy odds as they try to treat the torrent of patients showing symptoms of a disease that could become fatal if not detected and treated early. A survey by the Sunday Observer found most hospitals treating dengue patients overloaded to the hilt. Beds in many wards were shared by at least two patients more..

War crimes demo mars Independence Day

Feb 5 (CT) The Sri Lanka armed forces and the Police celebrated the nation's 69th Independence Anniversary Day in Jaffna midst protests, tight security and riot squads blocking the A9 road that leads to the Jaffna District Secretariat where the function was held yesterday. Heavy deployments of Police and armed forces personnel, especially STF men, were conspicuous throughout the event. About 50 protesters led by more..

Medical Deans consider urgent talks with President on fallout

Feb 5 (ST) As the crisis over private medical colleges intensified this week, Deans of the eight state medical faculties are considering seeking an urgent meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena next week to discuss the consequences of a court ruling on medical education in Sri Lanka. This was while the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) was moving in the direction of appealing to the Supreme Court against more..

Prisoner reveals horror of Welikada massacre

Feb 5 (SL) Thirty five Tamil prisoners including Selvaraj Yogachandran aka Kuttimani were murdered on July 23, 1983 by state terrorism inside Chappell Ward of the country’s most secure correctional facility, the Welikada Prison. Two days later 17 more prisoners were executed inside the same ward, raising the death toll to 52. Twenty-nine years after this terrible event, on Nov 09, 2012 twenty-seven prisoners were executed. more..

Water tariff revision in the pipeline

Feb 5 (DM) The govt said it will have to decide on a water tariff revision soon given the precarious financial situation of the Water Resources and Drainage Board. These sentiments were expressed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister Rauff Hakeem during the opening of a water supply project in Homagama. “There is migration towards urban areas and suburbs of Colombo are getting urbanizing fast. more..

A case of medical negligence?

Feb 5 (CT) A shortage of cataract lenses at the National Eye Hospital continues to leave patients helpless and severely inconvenienced; with many opting to receive care from private hospitals, while those without the means are at the mercy of medical staff at State run hospitals. One such patient, who wished to remain anonymous, but for the purpose of this article we shall refer to as Damayanthi, who was in dire need of a more..

COPE urges govt to take possession of Trinco oil tanks given to IOC

Feb 5 (CT) The COPE has submitted a recommendation to the Ministry of Petroleum and Petroleum Gas that it immediately takes possession of the China Bay Oil Tank Farm in Trincomalee. COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti said that this had been conveyed to the appropriate Ministry officials on 25 Jan. The China Bay Oil Tank Farm was handed over to the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) in 2003 under a 35-year lease arrangement under an MoU more..