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Chandimal has more hurdles to clear

Feb 22 (CT) When Australian cricket was down following the Kerry Packer World Series Cricket (WSC) in the early seventies, they were not the same side what used to be. For that matter most countries, such as the West Indies, who were on the top world side prior to the WSC, were also downtrodden sides. During the period of buildup and immediately after the WSC the world saw the change the Australians had losing five Test series' while drawing against Pakistan. more..

Veteran weight lifter Pushparaj gifted house

Feb 22 (CT) A house valued at Rs 4.2 million has been gifted to veteran weight lifter Lucien Pushparaj by Minister Sajith Premadasa on Tuesday at a special function held at the Ministry of Housing and Construction, Sethsiripaya. Pushparaj has emerged as a champion of many local and international weightlifting championships and was nicknamed as "The Black Lion of Asia". Addressing the gathering Minister said that gifting of a house to a sportsman would inspire and stimulate other sportsmen more..

Police suspect grenade in passenger’s bag exploded: Blast in bus leaves 19 injured

Feb 22 (Island) Initial police investigations into yesterday’s blast in a private bus proceeding from Jaffna to Diyatalawa have revealed that a grenade carried by one of the passengers exploded. Blast, which occurred around 5.45 am in Kahagolla, left 19 persons including two women injured. Police said it was not a terrorist attack. Police have called in Govt Analyst to investigate and determine the cause of the explosion. more..

Lotus Bud will bloom into Eelam: Sampanthan

Feb 22 (Island) I thought I would say a few words on this debate. The people have delivered a verdict and, in a democracy, the people’s verdict must be respected. The Hon. Member who moved the Motion and the Hon. Member who seconded the Motion have referred to various matters. I think, Sir, I will primarily do a brief analysis of the result of the Local Authorities Election held on 10th of February. The SLPP polled 44.69% of the votes cast at that election. The UNP polled 32.61%. more..

Video: Time period of national govt has expired: Mahinda

Feb 22 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the time period of the national govt has expired. “There is no clear ruling party in the country at present and it had led the country to an unstable state. President, PM and the MPs of the national govt are all working unto their whims and fancies” he said. Therefore, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya should take a clear decision whether the national govt was still in existence and give a ruling on the validity of the Cabinet as soon as possible, more..

Under amended LG act no crossovers allowed

Feb 22 (CT) Under the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Act, no elected member of a party can cross over to another. This was pointed out by the Secretary to Ministry of Provincial Councils & Local Govt, Kamal Padmasiri. "If a candidate elected from a party resigns from that party's membership, the party secretary should notify the District Secretary. If the District Secretary is satisfied, he/she can announce that more..

Cabinet approves Carriage by Air Bill

Feb 22 (CT) Cabinet Ministers approved a proposal on Tuesday to gazette the drafted Carriage by Air Bill and submit it for parliamentary approval, in a bid to bring Sri Lanka up to international standards such as the Montreal Convention, which the country is a member of. Cabinet, during the previous regime, directed the Carriage by Air Bill to be submitted to a Cabinet Sub-Committee for legislation recommendations. Following the recommendations, Bill was submitted to the Legal Draftsman more..

Janaka sets Guinness World Record

Feb 22 (DN) Janaka Mudannayake, a resident of Hanguranketha Kithulpe, yesterday set a Guinness World Record by bending twenty two steel rods of 12 mm within 48 seconds. Previous record was held by an Armenian national Amen Adams by bending 18 steel rods of 12 mm within one minute. A steel rod weighed 900 grams. Janaka holds four Guinness records that he set when he was a 16 year old school student. Janaka says that his ambition is to become the highest number of Guinness more..

GL alleges TNA trying to take shine off SLPP victory

Feb 22 (Island) Former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris alleged that one-time LTTE mouthpiece, the TNA, was making a despicable bid to take the shine off the SLPP historic victory at the Feb. 10 local govt polls. Prof. Peiris, who is also the Chairman of the SLPP and top JO spokesperson, dismissed the TNA assertion that the SLPP strategy would lead to a division of the country on ethnic lines. Prof. Peiris was responding to TNA leader R. Sampanthan post-LG poll accusation that more..

Govt and TNA conspired to postpone Bond debate: JO

Feb 22 (FT) JO claimed that Govt had schemed with TNA, to avoid the continuation of the debate on the Bond report. JO MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara charged that the TNA had objected to holding the debate on Bond Commission and PRECIFAC reports on Tuesday, asserting that the relevant translations were unavailable, but had not made such objections when the debate commenced. MP raised this issue in objection to the decision taken by the House to indefinitely postpone the debate on the Bond and PRECIFAC reports. more..

Video: Cabinet reshuffle set to take place today: Amunugama

Feb 22 (AD) Cabinet reshuffle is set to take place tomorrow (22) said Minister Sarath Amunugama. He made this sentiment while answering questions raised by journalists after a ceremony in Colombo. People’s mandate is only two years and there are about 500 days remaining, he said. Minister also noted that anyone should have 116 members to set up a govt and UNP, SLFP, or any other party should show a majority. Meanwhile, Speaker should decide on whether Mahinda Rajapaksa would be more..

Govt decides to enroll SAITM students to KDU

Feb 22 (DM) The govt has decided to enroll the students of SAITM to the medical faculty of the Sir John Kotelawala Defense Uni (KDU), Presidential Media Unit said. It said in a statement that the decision was taken at a meeting held with the President at the Presidential Secretariat today (21). Attorney General, Vice Chancellor of KDU, Dean of KDU Medical Faculty, and Chairman of UGC participated in the discussion. more..

LG elections are over; it’s time to learn the lessons

Feb 22 (DM) LG elections of Feb 10 are over. SLPP led by former president Rajapaksa won while the parties in the govt lost. But the lessons of the election result, appear to have bypassed our power-hungry politicians. Ministers and MPS now in the governing party are said to be preparing to switch political affiliations to the former president. Members of the JO are urging President Sirisena, who clipped his own powers via the 19th Amendment, to call for the PM’s resignation. more..

Dogs bark but the caravan moves...

Feb 22 (DM) In response to the clarion call by the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, the nation safeguarded Democracy, in SL in January in 2015. Remarkably UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, pledged his support to the common presidential candidate. Thus, on Jan 8, 2015, Maithripala Sirisena was elected as President. He polled 62 million votes as against 58 million polled by opposing candidate Mahinda Rajapakse. The people also gave a mandate to the Prez to appoint more..

Sri Lanka relations in perspective history alive in both countries

Feb 22 (DM) Dr. Mohsen Eslami is Assistant Professor of the Department of International Relations, at the Tarbiat Modares University of Tehran. Recently he was invited for a round-table conference which was held by Pathfinder Foundation, in association with the Embassy of Iran and in collaboration with the Strategic Council for Foreign Relations, on the theme Iran and the Indian Ocean in the 21st Century. more..

Sri Lanka records BOP surplus of US$2.05bn in 2017

Feb 22 (EN) SL has recorded a balance of payments (BOP) surplus of US$ 2,068 million as capital flight reserved and domestic credit slowed, and the central bank sterilized dollar purchases, reversing money printing in 2015 and 2016. Central bank printed money in 2015, cutting rates and pouring liquidity into money markets, as a budget deficit and domestic credit surged triggering a BOP crises and capital flight. more..

Lasantha killing: Ex DIG makes confidential statement

Feb 22 (DM) Former Senior DIG of Police Hemantha Adhikari yesterday made a confidential statement regarding the murder of former Sunday Leader Editor late Lasantha Wickrematunge before Mount Lavina Magistrate Mohamed Mihail. The statement was made in the Magistrate’s Chamber. When the case was called, on previous hearing (Feb 16), the CID informed Court that former Senior DIG Hemantha Adhikari, who more..

Youth tripped up by political perils on social media

Feb 22 (ST) For Matara resident Asiri Mahindadasa, 32, Facebook is his main news source and the forum for his political views expressed via photos, posts, memes (funny political comics). Asiri who works at a private bank branch in Moneragala, said as most of the youth in the area are active on Facebook rather than other social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, he shared his thoughts on the popular platform during more..

Tamil Nadu-Sri Lanka drug nexus: Something fishy about these fishermen

Feb 22 (OI) Legendary movie Scarface opens with a scene where 1,000s of refugees from Cuba land into the US. Antonio Montana played by the greatest actor of our times, Al Pacino is one among them. What follows is chaos and dark, dirty world of drugs. Flashback, 2006. There were 18,600 Tamil refugees who arrived at Rameswaram in TN. All were sent to special camps on the suspicion that they had links with the LTTE. more..

Rajitha mum on President’s contribution to loss of UNP, SLFP votes at LG polls

Feb 22 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that for the first time in the history of election campaigns in this country, members of the same govt had publicly criticised each other, having forgotten the principle of collective responsibility. He said one of the main reasons for the defeat of the UNP and SLFP at the recent local council elections was the two parties trading various allegations. more..

Sri Lanka ranked 91 in Corruption Perceptions Index

Feb 22 (DM) Sri Lanka has failed to show significant improvement in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2017, released by Transparency International (TI), global movement against corruption. The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption whereas SL has moved up 4 places from 95th to 91st, far more importantly its CPI score has only risen by two points from 36 to 38, more..

Govt to prioritize development projects in fields most effective to public

Feb 22 (CT) A new committee, led by Sarath Amunugama, will compile a list of priority development projects that the Govt will give prime concern to during the next two years. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the decision was made by Prez Sirisena during the last Cabinet meeting. Prez had requested the Cabinet to prioritize and allocate funds for the most essential development projects, instead of spending haphazardly. more..

Sri Lanka to tighten controls over NGOs

Feb 22 (EN) Sri Lanka is to tighten controls over charities and civil society organizations, through changes to a 1980 law requiring the registration of voluntary organizations, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. The changes is partly driven by the requirement of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank which is in charge of Anti-Money laundering/Combatting Terrorism Finance (AML/CFT), activities. more..

Finance ministry to be restructured

Feb 22 (EN) Sri Lanka's Finance ministry is set to be restructured as part of the major shakeup in the govt following its humiliating local council election defeat two weeks ago, official sources said Thursday. State-owned banks, insurance and the central bank will be brought back under the Finance ministry, the sources said adding that the media portfolio is likely to be taken out. The media subject was also attached to Finance ministry when more..

Govt shouldn’t confuse masses

Feb 22 (CT) The recent move by President Maithripala Sirisena to temporarily halt a Cabinet decision to provide tabs to A/L students and teachers has yet again created confusion among the masses. The Govt in its 2017 budget proposal said 175,000 A/L students and 28,000 teachers would be provided with tabs. Cabinet had also given the nod for the project to go ahead. However, the President on 20 February put a stop to the move. The project was to cost a sum of Rs 5 billion. more..

Putting Yaha into Palanaya – could standards be the trick?

Feb 22 (FT) I will from the outset indicate that this is not about politics, even though popular terminology cannot be resisted if one is to get the message across. We are driven by emotions and the media is only adding fuel to the fire. If one takes a step back and views dispassionately, we could see we simply lack coherence, display very little intelligence and act on the spur of the moment. Bulls in china shops fare much better in my view. That is no way to succeed in difficult times more..

කවුද හොරා? - ශ්යාම් නුවන් ගනේවත්ත

Video: Individuals seeking to profit from sports should not govern them: Rohan F.

Feb 22 (AD) Sports cannot be developed in the country if individuals who are only looking to make profits through sports are elected to govern them, says National Olympic Committee (NOC) presidency candidate Rohan Fernando. In order to develop sports in Sri Lanka, individuals who are connected to sports, passionate about sports, who do not seek to make a profit from sports and are ready to sacrifice their time, money and strength on behalf of sports should join the governing body. more..

25 MPs will crossover if National Govt continues : Gammanpila

Feb 22 (AD) PHU leader Udaya Gammanpila says that if the National Govt continues forward, then close to 25 MPs will join the SLPP. Speaking at a press briefing today, the MP also spoke about the Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament regarding the present state of the National Govt. Gammanpila said that it is not enough to just say a National Govt was established and that they should also inform the Parliament in writing regarding the parties involved and the duration. more..

Police cover up in Lasantha murder emerge after key arrest

Feb 22 (EN) The arrest of a retired senior DIG has revealed how the police scuttled its own investigations to protect military intelligence men who carried out the assassination of editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara who is currently in remand custody has allegedly instructed his juniors to not only botch the investigation, but also destroy evidence gathered from the crime scene, according to more..

AG and Austin save UNP-SLFP marriage

Feb 22 (CT) Colombo Telegraph learns that Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya and the President’s Secretary Austin Fernando had worked tirelessly to save the union between the UNP and SLFP, their efforts helping avert a serious governance crisis following the rout of both parties at the local government elections. Civil society activists, in particular Prof Jayadeva Uyangoda and Jayantha Dhanapala, had also exerted a lot of pressure to prevent union from falling apart. more..

CPC unions suspend scheduled strike

Feb 22 (NR) Petroleum Trade Union Alliance has decided to suspend the scheduled trade union action following an assurance given by the management of the CPC. Several Petroleum trade unions including the Petroleum Trade Union Alliance decided to launch a strike action based on several demands including against the delay to sanction salary increments. Spokesperson of Trade Union Alliance said Petroleum employees have not received scheduled increments for 2018. more..

Prez Com. on UL, Mihin should be based on Weliamuna Report: Kabir

Feb 22 (DM) Minister Kabir Hashim told Parliament today that he had made a written request to President Maithripala Sirisena that investigations carried out by the Special Presidential Commission appointed to look into Srilankan and Mihin Air should be based on the J C Weliamuna report. Minister was referring to an oral question raised by JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa on the national carrier and Mihin Air. Dr Jayatissa questioned as to more..

US will return to Vietnam, Sri Lanka during Pacific Partnership mission

Feb 22 (S&S) The Asia-Pacific’s largest humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief preparedness mission is returning to Vietnam and Sri Lanka as the United States continues to cultivate partnerships in the region. During this year’s Pacific Partnership exercise, which begins Friday and runs through June, the Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy will travel to Indonesia, Malaysia, SL & Vietnam while the USNS Fall River heads to, Malaysia, Palau, Thailand & Yap in Micronesia. more..

Kuwait amnesty period for Lankans ends today

Feb 22 (NR) The general amnesty period announced by the Kuwait govt for Sri Lankans residing without a valid travel document ends today. The Kuwait government in January announced that Sri Lankans had the opportunity to leave Kuwait without having to pay a fine during the amnesty period. Interior Ministry of Kuwait announced an amnesty period for all expatriates who do not have residence permits or whose residence permits have expired. SL embassy also urged those who more..

In preparation for the elections: A peek into the life of Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya

Feb 22 (Roar) The morning of Feb 10 dawned like any other, but for a group of men and their acolytes, the day heralded the busiest 24 hours of their lives. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya and his team of officers at the Election Secretariat readied themselves for a day of intense pressure, as SL took to the polls to vote in the LG elections. For Deshapriya, preparations for the LG elections began much earlier, when, more..

Sri Lanka’s textiles, garments exports exceed US$5bn in 2017

Feb 22 (EN) SL’s textiles and garments exports exceeded US$5 billion in 2017, up 3.0% from 2016 with earnings in the month of December alone up 19% after the resumption of duty free shipments to the European Union earlier that year. Textiles and garments exports rose 19.4% to US$470 million in Dec 2017 from a year ago, according to central bank data. “Recording the highest value for the year, earnings from textiles & garment exports continued to increase significantly in Dec 2017 more..

Foreign ministry denies High Commissioner to UK resigned

Feb 22 (TG) SL's foreign ministry on Thursday stressed the country's High Commissioner had not resigned, rejected media reports she had terminated her contract. "High Commissioner Wijewardene will conclude her contract on her own volition by 31 March 2018," the ministry said in statement. SL's High Commission in London has faced increased scrutiny over recent weeks after the country's defence attache to the UK, Brigadier Fernando was filmed motioning a death threat more..

Table UNP-SLFP agreement: JO

Feb 22 (NR) A group of opposition members of parliament today called on the govt to present the agreement, reached by the UNP and the SLFP, to form the National govt, before parliament. UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena accused the govt of violating the Constitution by continuing to maintain the number of Cabinet Minister above 30. MP Dallas Alahapperuma called on the Speaker to intervene in the matter more..

Thera gets patent for solar-powered vehicle

Feb 22 (DM) The chief incumbent of the International Meditation Centre at Rathmalkanda Aranyaya (hermitage) in Kitthalella, Bandarawela Ven. Madawala Upali Thera has received the patent license for his invention of solar-power operated motor vehicle. A unique feature of this vehicle is that there is no emission of carbon dioxide and sulpher dioxide to the environment, thereby helping to minimise air pollution and reduce global warming, according to the thera. more..