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China Gezhouba Group given Rs. 161bn Sri Lanka expressway deal

Feb 5 (EN) Sri Lanka has awarded China Gezhouba Group a 161.61 billion rupee deal (US$ 1.06 billion) to build an expressway, as member firms emerged from World Bank sanctions. The project will be financed by the Exim Bank of China, through a 20-year loan with a 5-year grace period. Members of the China Gezhouba Group had faced World Bank sanctions over misconduct involving projects in China. more..

Video: SLMC should decide whether or not to grant approval: Mahinda

Feb 5 (AD) Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) should be given the authority whether or not to register a medical student who passing out from a university, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says. Rajapaksa underlined the SLMC should be an independent body and no one should interfere into its affairs. “Or everyone would attempt to become doctors,” he said. The former President also severely condemned the attack on the protesting medical students in Colombo. more..

Video: Kudu Roshan hacked to death in Wanathamulla

Feb 5 (AD) Underworld figure known as Kudu Roshan was hacked to death by an unidentified group of people in Wanathamulla, Colombo on Sunday, police said. The remains of the 30-year-old victim are currently deposited at Colombo National Hospital pending a post-mortem. An investigation is underway to identify and locate the involved suspects. Chamara Sandaruwan alias Kudu Roshan is also a suspect in the murders of four individuals in Mattakkuliya occurred in Oct, 2016. more..

Victorian MP Jude Perera spent taxpayers’ money on ill-fated Sri Lankan AFL mission

Feb 5 (HS) Victorian politician has spent taxpayers’ money on an ill-fated mission to set up an overseas AFL tournament. SL-born Labor MP Jude Perera travelled to SL last year to try and set up an exhibition match marking 70 years of friendship between the island nation and Australia. Mr Perera, govt backbencher who represents Cranbourne, spent several days meeting with Sri Lankan politicians and business figures but more..

Indian arrested for taking pics released on police bail

Feb 5 (AD) A 36-year-old Indian man who was arrested for allegedly taking photos in a high-security zone has been released on police bail. Kollupitiya police said that the person was released after obtaining a statement on Sunday. He was caught while taking photographs around Temple Trees, police said. They said the suspect had told them that the photos were taken because of the beauty of the area with the decorations for the 69th Independence Day celebrations. more..

Human chain to be formed around Jaffna DS

Feb 5 (SL) NPC members are to lead a protest by forming a human chain around the Jaffna District Secretariat this week against moves by the govt to acquire more land in the North for security purposes. NPC member M. K. Sivajilingam said the protest will see the participation of NPC members, political party representatives, civil society and the public. The protesters will surround the Jaffna DS on Thursday when a meeting is scheduled to be held at the premises to acquire land in the North. more..

Cabinet clash over vehicle factory

Feb 5 (ST) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera will submit a memorandum to the Cabinet calling on the Govt to withhold a proposal to grant concessions to a vehicle importer trying to assemble vehicles locally. Minister Ravi Karunanayake last week submitted a Cabinet proposal seeking a 70% tax concession for locally assembled vehicles by Vehicles Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd with used vehicle parts. more..

E-motoring: Vehicle registration fully online

Feb 5 (ST) Motor Traffic Department will soon introduce an online service known as E-motoring enabling vehicle owners to carry out work related to registration through the system from the point of importing the vehicle, instead of calling over at the Department. The system had already been put on trial at the Hambantota harbour where the registration process would be carried out online. The photograph of the vehicle, registration numbers, engine capacity, seats and accessories more..

Video: 'Rathana Thero is a RAW agent'

Feb 5 (AD) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero is an agent of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Administrative Secretary of the Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna, Renuka Perera alleged. He made the observation while speaking to reporters at a press conference. Perera also accused Rathana Thero of being behind the plan to stop granting the fertiliser subsidy for farmers. “It was owing to a request made by Rathana Thero, the govt had to stop the fertiliser subsidy,” he said. more..

Video: Administrative Services Union reveals its stance on Divulapitiya issue

Feb 5 (AD) Administrative Services Union (ASU) stressed it would not intend to take trade union action again over controversy surrounding the alleged sand mining issue in Divulapitiya. While clarifying reasons to resort to trade union action earlier, Chairman of ASU, said the decision to stage a demonstration was taken after Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake defamed the Divulapitiya Div. Secretary by calling her a thief in public. more..

Rs 360,000 fine for illicit sale of endemic wildlife

Feb 5 (ST) Colombo Magistrate imposed a fine of Rs 360,000 on a suspect for illicitly selling endemic birds and tortoises, and directed officials of the Dept of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) to release the birds into the wild, after conducting medical analyses at the Atthidiya Wildlife Health Management Centre. A Wildlife Ranger involved in the raid, Saman Liyange said they had received information on Friday morning that a man named Haren Yatawala, a resident of Rajagiriya, more..

Wiggy’s hybrid court is a dream that will not materialise: Samarasinghe

Feb 5 (DM) Northern Province Chief Minister C. V Wigneswaran’s moves to establish a hybrid court in the province is a dream which will never materialize, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. Speaking at an Independence Day ceremony in Kalutara, minister went on to say that some politicians had become slaves to foreign powers and organizations and were only working towards obtaining certain privileges. “We will not betray our soldiers and police officers. more..

Angelo Mathews unavailable for Australia tour due to injury

Feb 5 (CI) Angelo Mathews' hamstring injury will keep him out of the forthcoming T20 series in Australia, SLC has confirmed. A stand-in captain is expected to be named on Tuesday, when the selectors decide on the squad. Mathews has been in SL since he sustained the injury during his match-winning innings in the second T20 against South Africa. Chandimal took the reins in the final T20 of that series, before Upul Tharanga more..

SLNS Samudura leaves for Pakistan to take part in Naval Exercise Aman

Feb 5 (SLN) SL Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel, SLNS Samudura left for Pakistan from Port of Colombo last evening (3) to take part in the Naval Exercise Aman in Pakistan. Ship is scheduled to arrive at Port of Karachchi on 9th Feb. Crew of Samudura who joined this tour consists of 186 Naval personnel and 8 Maldivian National Defence Force personnel as well. The exercise Aman will be held from 10th to 14th Feb in Karachchi with the attendance of the navies from 21 countries. more..

Save Kirala Kele, a cry from environmentalists

Feb 5 (ST) With World Wetland Day being celebrated on Thursday (February 2) bird lovers here have called to protect the Kirala Kele wetland that recently made headlines due to the sighting of a record number of migratory birds. Kirala Kele in Sinhala means forest of kirala trees- or a mangrove forest. It covers an area of 1,800 ha with 310 ha of it being designated a wetland located at the exit of the Southern expressway in Godagama about three km from Matara town. more..

'Govt had to reinstate my citizenship'

Feb 5 (CT) FSP Organizing Secretary and Central Committee member Kumar Gunaratnam says, "We still feel the heartbeat of my brother and other comrades who lost their lives during the struggle against suppression in the past." He said he will continue to be in socialist politics. Q: You had to struggle for a long time to get your Sri Lankan citizenship reinstated. What do you think now that it had been granted? more..

More than 450 tri forces deserters arrested

Feb 5 (GDI) Authorities are continuing to take action against tri forces deserters who have failed to obtain legal discharge during the General Amnesty periods provided in the past and so far more than 450 personnel have been arrested till Thursday (2). Accordingly, 1 officer and 313 soldiers from the army, 133 personnel from navy and 11 personnel from air force have been arrested so far. Tri forces personnel who are considered as Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL) were provided more..

Did you know Jacqueline Fernandez was a reporter in Sri Lanka?

Feb 5 (ANI) A lesser known fact about Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez is she was a Mass Communication student and was a reporter in Sri Lanka. The actress was struck by nostalgia when her mother recently found an old reporting tape of her and sent it to her. When asked if she misses the reporting days, the 31-year-old said, “I do miss the reporting days because it was an adventure every day, coming to work, finding out what the latest news is, working with the team. more..

Video: GMOA and JVP to hold discussions on SAITM

Feb 5 (GDI) The GMOA is scheduled to hold a discussion with the JVP on Monday. The meeting will be held as a step towards briefing political parties on the present situation with regard to SAITM, GMOA media spokesman Dr. Naveen de Soyza said. The GMOA has also held a discussion with representatives of the Joint Opposition, which consists of dissident UPFA MPs in this regard on Saturday. more..

3 nabbed over mobile cash transfer scam

Feb 5 (DM) Three persons including a woman had been arrested over Rs. 1.1 million eZ Cash scam in Mount Lavinia yesterday, the Police said. The Police Special Crimes Investigations Unit of the Mount Lavinia Police received a complaint stating that a group of people were involved in the eZ cash scam. The complainant has said that the scammers had offered prizes claiming that he was a winner of the game organized by a mobile company. The suspects-aged between 37 and 50- were more..

Ranjan complains to BC against Div. Sec.

Feb 5 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake has complained to the Bribery Commission (BC) against the Divulapitiya Divisional Secretary with whom he was at loggerheads recently. He told Daily Mirror he had lodged the complaint on Friday. In his complaint he alleged that 61 000 cubes of sand had been removed through sand mining despite the Geological Surveys and Mines Bureau (GSMB) having given permission to remove only 500 cubes of sand. “Bribery Commission is likely to more..

Video: Mahendran spent Rs. 66mn for his own purposes: VAC

Feb 5 (DM) Former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran spent Rs.66mn of Central Bank funds on 163 occasions during a span of 21 months for his own purposes, Voice against Corruption (VAC) Convener Wasantha Samarasinghe alleged. He said his allegations were based on an audit report prepared by CB's Internal Audit Department and that the money allegedly embezzled was second only to infamous bond issue, more..

TN fishermen chased away, fishing nets snapped by Lankan Navy

Feb 5 (PTI) Over 3,000 TN fishermen were forced to return without catch after SL Navy personnel allegedly snapped the fishing nets of 20 mechanised boats off Katchatheevu in the island nation. “The fishermen from Rameswaram had ventured into the sea in 628 mechanised boats last night and were fishing near Katchatheevu, when the naval men came and snapped the fishing nets of 20 boats and asked the fishermen to return,” Rameswaram Fishermen Association President said. more..

His daring scares away top bureaucrats

Feb 5 (DM) There is a certain purohita who is said to be highly upset these days due to a problem that defies a solution. None of the secretaries appointed to his Ministry ever since his first secretary going on retirement had stayed put in this key post for more than a few days. A senior bureaucrat who succeeded the retired one had tendered his resignation shortly after assuming duties. Another mandarin from the provincial service appointed to fill the vacancy too had quit office more..

SLC wanted more time to consider proposals

Feb 5 (CI) SLC was compelled to vote against the ICC's proposed financial model because of procedural problems with how the new structure was presented to the ICC board, according to SLC's president, Thilanga Sumathipala. BCCI and SLC were the only boards to vote against new draft constitution, which effectively represents a partial rollback of the Big Three's governance and financial policies ushered in 2014. more..

Desalination - Or a river for Jaffna ?

Feb 6 (Island) In 2010 the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a total loan facility of 130 million US dollars for the "Jaffna and Kilinochchi Water Supply and Sanitation Project". Local costs of 26 million dollars were to be met by the Govt of Sri Lanka. The project involved providing safe drinking water for 300,000 people in Jaffna Town and surrounding areas and sanitation facilities for 80,000 people in Jaffna Town. The source of raw water was to be Iranamadu Tank in Kilinochchi. more..

Editorial: Of that savage attack

Feb 6 (Island) Last week’s brutal police crackdown on a group of undergraduates protesting against the Malabe private medical college has laid bare the true face of the yahapalana govt. Saturday’s Independence Day parade was not complete. For, the police riot squad and stone-throwing govt goons did not take part in it! Rajapaksa govt did not care to camouflage its goon attacks on protests against it. Its thugs, armed with bicycle chains, swords & clubs, were seen operating alongside more..

Organ donation, saving lives

Feb 6 (DN) Despite widespread need for donor organs in SL, the nation has a long way to go when it comes to improving the rate of organ donation and transplant. Recently, Cabinet approved a proposal put forward by Minister of Health, to include information on whether a person is a donor or not in his/her Driver’s license. Proposal if implemented would provide hospital authorities with vital information in the event of an accident. more..

Unity flagship

Feb 6 (DN) “A thoughtful mind when it sees a nation's flag, sees not the flag, but the nation itself. And whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag, the govt, the principles, the truths, the history that belongs to the nation that sets it forth.” As the national flag of Sri Lanka flutters with majestic grace in the soft breeze blown across the Indian ocean, representing our multicultural identity and our rich indigenous heritage on this, 69th year since we gained independence more..

Decades of Sovereignty

Feb 6 (DN) Another Independence Day has dawned and the atmosphere is charged with national fervor and sentiment. The customary parade at Galle Face, where it all began, spiced with cultural pageants and the display of military prowess will be the chief attraction at the 69th National Day. Other ceremonies too would be held countrywide to mark the momentous occasion with events highlighting patriotism and national unity taking center stage. The national flag will flutter proudly on all more..

Abductions continue

Feb 6 (CT) The news that Vice-President of Telecom Manpower Welfare Association Sujeewa Mangala was abducted on the night of 28 Jan, and that he was missing for a few days, spread across the country like wild fire. It was the first case of disappearance during the govet of good governance. No one knew of his whereabouts until 1 Feb, when he suddenly arrived at the Ingiriya police station. News of the first missing person more..

Rambo Ranjan gets mauled for exposing soil mining scandal

Feb 6 (ST) Every man has his strengths; every man, his weaknesses.And in the case of film star turned politician now turned anti-corruption crusader, the 54 year old Sadda Vidda Rajapakse Palanga Pathira Ambakumarage Ranjan Leo Sylvester Alphonsu, his Achilles’ heel lies in his inability to keep a short leash on his temper; in his tendency to blow a fuse at the slightest provocation and needlessly torpedo his ticker. And Negombo born catholic Ranjan – who, in one shot, cut short his long list of more..

The govt needs to be constructive rather than combative

Feb 6 (ST) Is the essentially combative tone adopted by the Govt to the Juan Mendez report finding that a culture of torture is still being practised in Sri Lanka quite wise, one might ask? Of course, we live in an age where, confounding his own advisors and despite solid evidence to the contrary, President of US is on record stating bombastically that torture works as an interrogation method. But Sri Lanka’s state representatives have long adopted a far more devious method of denial. more..

VAC press conference

Oh dearly beloved Motherland! Where Victoria’s faithful subjects continue to rule!

Feb 6 (CT) Another year. Another Independence Day. The term Independence, in this case, is a quintessential euphemism. That Independence was negotiated under very specific circumstances, in the backdrop of a shift in the Colonial Office’s policies towards neighbouring India. It was a negotiation that took place between a political elite, all anglicised wealthy men, who looked up to Britain for almost everything. Theirs was a strategy of approaching Colonial Office and playing a soft game, more..

Towards a language revolution for reconciliation & development

Feb 6 (CT) The matters of ethnic reconciliation and economic development in Sri Lanka are closely intertwined. It is largely accepted today that erroneous language policies in the past have had a considerable negative impact on both ethnic reconciliation and economic development in the country. Although one of the key causes for the dual predicament is therefore identified, country is far from implementing a correct policy in respect of language. Let me give a simple example. more..

Look out for the bad ally within – the match-fixing conundrum

Feb 6 (ST) One Team One Nation– that is the brand that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has placed its hopes, aspirations and achievements upon, for the game, in this tear drop shaped island of wonders. Why do I call it the island of wonders? As you are aware, SL has produced only one female Athlete in the Asian region, to win a short distance medal at the Olympics. At the turn of the last millennium, sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe more..

Opportunity for Lankan exporters in Maldives

Feb 6 (CT) FHAM 2017 International Exhibition is poised as the event of the year for the Business and Hospitality Industry of the Maldives. Over the past years, FHAM has been recognized as the main gateway for business in the Maldives. This exhibition is an ideal platform for Sri Lankan exporters to enter into the Maldivian market. FHAM 2017, Food & Hospitality Asia Maldives Int'l Trade Fare is scheduled to be held from 3 –6 April at Dharubaaruge in Maldives and will feature more..

Booming tourism in Sri Lanka

Feb 6 (AN) Sri Lanka is among this year’s biggest tourism destinations — with the island attracting an increasing number of visitors. The island attracted 2,058,000 tourists in 2016, an increase of 14% compared with the previous year, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA). Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said the number was the highest ever. While it promises well for the industry, numbers were far below that of competing destinations like Thailand & Malaysia, more..

ADB mark 50 year partnership today

Feb 6 (CT) Ceremony to mark the 50 year longstanding partnership between SL & Asian Development Bank (ADB) will be held at the Independence Square, Colombo 7, at 3.30 p.m. today with the participation of ADB South Asia Regional Dept (SARD) Director General Hun Kim. Guests will also declare open a photographic exhibition depicting the assistance given to Sri Lanka over the past 50 years by ADB. more..