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'Country will never return to dictatorship'

Feb 3 (DN) The country which was rescued from dictatorship by electing the Common Candidate will never be turned back, Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera pointed out yesterday. He also pointed out that the country which was isolated in the international arena, regained its due recognition after the victory of the Common Candidate. Minister Samaraweera made these observations at a rally held at Weligama, supporting UNP Local Govt election candidates. more..

Kids from shanties shut out of big schools in Colombo

Feb 3 (Island) Schools in Colombo refuse to enrol Grade One students living in shanties of Colombo and ignore their govt-authorised ownership cards issued in lieu of land deeds, says Sampath Rambukkanage the Pamankade (East) contestant from SLPP for the CMC at the upcoming local govt polls. The SLPP candidate said yesterday that the ownership cards initially issued by former Colombo Mayor B. Sirisena Cooray to those living in unauthorised dwellings more..

Megapolis Minister sounds alarm over Colombo drainage and sewer systems

Feb 3 (Island) Colombo’s underground pipeline network and the sewer system are in need of renovation, Minister Champika Ranawaka says. Ranawaks said so at the launch of the Sebastian Northern Canal rain water pumping station and anicut project recently. Another pumping station would be constructed in Kolonnawa considering the present situation of the Kelani river and the rain water density, he added. Referring to the aged pipeline network, Minister said more..

The World Wetlands Day 2018 celebrated under the patronage of the President

Feb 3 (PSL) The national programme for World Wetlands Day (WWD) was held under the patronage of the President Maithripala Sirisena at Battaramulla, Apegma premises, yesterday (2). The World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually by the countries which are signatories to the World Ramsar Convention. Sri Lanka also celebrates the World Wetlands Day which falls on 2nd Feb every year. The international Convention was conducted in Iran in 1971 more..

Independence Day traffic plan announced

Feb 3 (CT) The section of road from the Galle Face Roundabout to the Old Parliament Roundabout will be closed from 5 a.m. to 12 noon tomorrow, in view of the Independence Day celebrations. Police Spokesman, Superintendent of Police Ruwan Gunasekara, at a media briefing on 1 February announced that a special traffic plan will also be put in place in Kollupitiya, Colombo Fort and the surrounding areas due to the event. Accordingly, Galle Road from the Galle Face Roundabout more..

New rules a bitter pill for pharmacies

Feb 3 (ST) Pharmacy owners say many will have to shut up shop if forced to follow new National Medicinal Regulatory Authority (NMRA) guidelines, claiming the rules – aimed at better service for customers – are based on foreign norms and are unworkable here. About 9 out of 10 pharmacies operate in urban areas where the regulations are particularly inoperable, they said. New minimum standards for setting up pharmacies stipulate that the premises have ample space, more..

Bangladesh's batsmen pay for defensive mindset

Feb 3 (CI) As soon as third umpire Joel Wilson confirmed to the on-field umpires that Mushfiqur Rahim was out, the balance of the first Test became a lot more skewed. Bangladesh will have to fight without their two most experienced batsmen on the fifth day against Sri Lanka. SL wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella later said that despite the batting-friendly Chittagong pitch, it is their game to win. He also said Sri Lanka were helped by Bangladesh's defensive approach. more..

MR failed to ensure Tamil people’s rights: Ranil

Feb 3 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that even after the LTTE was defeated, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to ensure the Tamil People’s rights. Addressing an UNP Local Polls rally in Pothuwil, Wickremesinghe said that instead of uniting all the communities and developing the country after the end of the war , the Rajapaksas adopted a divide and rule policy, by encouraging ethnic and religious conflicts. Issues confronting the Tamils were ignored, more..

China, Sri Lanka strive for long-term success of Hambantota Port

Feb 3 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is reaping early harvests from the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, featured with the launch of operation at Hambantota Port through a joint venture between the two sides last year. Since Sri Lanka and China started joint operation of the Hambantota Port in southern Sri Lanka, there have been doubts in the western media over the profitability and the future of the port. However, the smooth and excellent performance of the port and more..

Sri Lanka deletes laptop dance from i-day parade

Feb 3 (EN) Sri Lankan authorities have scrapped a laptop dance by school girls during the main Independence Day parade in Colombo after the unconventional item attracted ridicule on social media. Unlike the erotic art of lap dance, the 21st century Sri Lankan version was performed by students dressed in black leggings, yellow skirts and black short-sleeved jackets to symbolize the computers given by the education department. more..

Miss Leading: Sri Lanka joins in on fighting sexism

Feb 3 (DFP) In recent history, the world has seen a lot of progress and positive strides surrounding the topic of women’s rights. From hundreds of women coming forward about their stories of sexual assault in the United States to the Saudi king passing a law giving women the right to drive, there is a clear effort to push for equality across the globe. Earlier this month, Sri Lanka joined the movement by allowing women to purchase alcohol and work in places where alcohol is served more..

Sri Lanka calls on Maldives to find peaceful solution to ongoing crisis

Feb 3 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt on Saturday called on all parties in the Maldives to uphold the rule of law and find a peaceful solution to the ongoing political crisis. "Sri Lanka is observing the evolving situation in the Maldives. We urge all parties to uphold the rule of law and the constitution, and find a peaceful solution to the current situation," tForeign Ministry said. Clashes have been reported in the Maldives between police and protesters since Friday as supporters of more..

AG tears into corrupt system, demands political commitment

Feb 3 (Island) A hastily called recent meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat to decide on an action plan to curb public sector waste, corruption and irregularities was told that such efforts wouldn’t succeed as long as the govt deprived the Auditor General Department of the much delayed National Audit Bill. President Sirisena called the meeting amidst the ongoing media furore over the delay in the Attorney General Department more..

Govt attempting to abolish MR’s Civic Rights: Udaya

Feb 3 (NR) MP Udaya Gammanpila says the government is attempting to remove Former President Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa from election campaigns by abolishing the former President’s Civic Rights. Speaking at a SLPP rally the Parliamentarian said such action will not be allowed. MP noted he had read the reports compiled by the PRECIFAC adding the reports had not mentioned anything about stripping the civic rights of Former President Mahinda Rajapaksha. more..

ITAK President demands one billion rupees in damages

Feb 3 (Island) Jaffna MP and ITAK President Mavai S. Senathirajah’s lawyers have sent a letter of demand to MP Annamalai Nadesu Sivasakthi seeking damages amounting to one billion rupees for making ‘false and defamatory statements’ by alleging that their client together with some other MPs had received bribes amounting to Rs. 20 million each to vote in favour of the government budget. Following is the text of the Letter of Demand titled, False and Defamatory Statements more..

Tamils fully support Army: Commander

Feb 3 (CT) Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake has stated that nearly all the Tamils maintain cordial relations with members of the armed forces stationed in the North. According to him, this signifies a clear increase in the goodwill extended towards the Army from the time humanitarian operations commenced in or before May 2009. He was of the view that since the Eelamist (separatist) ideology still prevails, more..

Seventy years of national endeavour

Feb 4 (SO) Emotions arise from memories as well as hopes and aspirations. When our readers raise our national flag today, they do so with emotions that is a mix of both, memories of our island society’s life so far, as a free nation, as well as of hopes for the future. It is a solemn moment of remembrance of travails, heroic struggles, tragedy and yet partial success. It is also a joyous moment of celebrating our autonomy as a nation uniquely endowed with cherished traits, identities and resources; more..

Let’s make a change

Feb 4 (CT) On Sri Lanka's 17th birthday as an independent nation it is fit to remember what we were when the British colonialists handed us the keys to this country. We had the second highest per capita income in Asia, one of the highest literacy rates, a highly regarded health service, a transport network that was unrivalled, an independent judiciary and a Civil Service par excellence. After seven decades we should have grown older and wiser and become a beacon to rest of Asia. more..

'People will not vote for Nepotism'

Feb 4 (SO) With campaigning for the LG elections winding up midweek, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe spoke about the big questions facing the nation in Saturday’s poll. Premier who leads the UNP – the leading constituent in the ruling national unity alliance, said, a silent revolution has unfolded over the past three years in Sri Lanka since his Govt took office, with major democratic, economic and welfare gains for the citizen, scrapping of more..

Let’s make a change

Feb 4 (CT) On Sri Lanka's seventieth birthday as an independent nation it is fit to remember what we were when the British colonialists handed us the keys to this country. We had the second highest per capita income in Asia, one of the highest literacy rates, a highly regarded health service, a transport network that was unrivalled, an independent judiciary and a Civil Service par excellence. After seven decades we should have grown older and wiser and become a beacon to rest of Asia. more..

Self-rule enriched politicians

Feb 4 (Island) We celebrate today the 70th anniversary of our country’s Independence from the British with mixed feelings. There are those who believe that having a son of a British Queen, whose ancestors imposed the colonial yoke on this country by military means and exploited its many riches, as chief guest at this landmark event is not the best way to commemorate Independence. They recall that 2018 also marks the 200th anniversary of the Uva rebellion led by Keppetipola, branded more..

'If my cause is weakened: People of this country will never see justice'

Feb 4 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena says, "There are individuals within the govt itself who commit wrongdoings. There has been fraud and corruption. I will take action against every one of them." Q: The election tension is on the rise. Are you satisfied with the achievements of the SLFP? A: Yes. The SLFP and the UPFA have successfully entered the race for the Local Govts. We are contesting under four symbols of the UPFA; more..

Ridding the system of myopia

Feb 4 (ST) My Dear Ravi, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you are being asked to stand down from being the assistant leader of the Greens. Just when you thought a New Year was going to bring you some new prospects apart from being merely a ‘Colombo district MP’, matters have got worse, haven’t they? I know you must be disappointed with these latest developments but honestly, Ravi, sometimes I wonder whether you should bother about this at all. more..

Flawed Democracy better than dictatorship

Feb 4 (ST) Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, will be in attendance today to see the Lion flag of Lanka being raised, 70 years after his grand-uncle, the Duke of Gloucester witnessed the same flag unfurl as the Union Jack was brought down after nearly 450 years of foreign rule. Having already spent a few days on the island, the visiting Royal couple might well think that the Divide and Rule policies of colonial rule continue to thrive despite Independence. more..

රවිට ගොඩ යනවනම් සහ මෛත්රීගේ තොවිලේට...

Hopper theory applied to Ravi K

Feb 4 (Island) 70th anniversary of our independence is being celebrated today in less than satisfactory circumstances. Firstly, the whole country is in turmoil with an unstable govt, a dysfunctional administration and a debt burdened economy. The unrest in the country is visible on the streets and on top of all that the country is in the middle of an election. The invitation of members of the British Royal family for the 70th anniversary of our independence may be seen by some as singularly inappropriate more..

Sri Lanka and Thailand share honours on day one at SLTA

Feb 4 (ST) The first two games of the five rubber Asia/Oceania Group II Davis Cup tie between Sri Lanka and Thailand which was played yesterday at the SLTA clay courts in Greenpath, Colombo saw the two countries sharing honours with a win each. Sharmal Dissanayake the hope of the host did not disappoint his supporters as he gave the host side a confident start with a comfortable two sets to nil win against his much experience opponent Jirat Navasirisomboon. more..

Worried Speaker issues a warning to Maithri and Ranil

Feb 4 (CT) With President Sirisena continuing to openly criticize the acts of his main coalition partner UNP - which many believe as an act designed to save his face and the SLFP in the run-up to LG elections - Speaker Karu Jayasuriya who met the former at his official residence at the Paget Road, Colombo 7 has requested the President to mind his tongue as his utterance could bring serious blows to the economy in the long run. more..

The quest for true freedom

Feb 4 (SO) Freedom, liberty and independence. Three words that seemingly have the same meaning, but differ in their interpretation. SL gained independence from the British rulers on Feb 4, 1948, exactly 70 years ago. This was a turning point for freedom in the history of our nation. Independence is not just a facility that we gain from someone. It is also a state of mind. We must really feel free and independent as a nation to reap the full benefits of the struggle for independence that more..

Mendis’ memorable comeback

Feb 4 (Island) On Friday, Kusal Mendis turned 23 and celebrated the occasion with his fourth Test hundred. Exciting to think how many hundreds he will end up with. Even the great Arjuna Ranatunga after 93 Tests and 18 years in the international circuit managed just four Test hundreds. Unafraid to play his shots and trust his instincts, Mendis is going to give us many thrills in years to come. His axing from the tour of India was perhaps a harsh call. After all, he had just one poor series in UAE. more..

SLC looking for a permanent solution to Mathews’ injury

Feb 4 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is awaiting experts’ views on injured skipper Angelo Mathews to decide the best approach to get the 30-year-old cricketer back in full action. While the other national players are on duty in Bangladesh, Mathews is at home after his latest hamstring injury which initially ruled him out for two weeks. He has long been plagued by leg injuries–either calf or hamstring–and the latest bout saw him more..

Is Sri lanka Cricket happy beating wooden spoonists?

Feb 4 (Island) 22-year old paceman, Sri Lankan ODI debutant Shehan Madushanka, helped clinch the three-cornered international ODI series between Zimbabwe, SL and Bangladesh when he captured the last three scalps of the Bangladeshi innings in consecutive balls and thus became the fourth bowler to achieve a hat-trick on his first appearance in this form of the game. His feat helped SL beat Bangladesh by a comfortable 79 runs and brought some faint sunshine to the current state of more..

Mathews’ chances are slim for T-20s

Feb 4 (Island) After being ruled out of the ODI and Test leg of the tour of Bangladesh, SL’s white ball captain Angelo Mathews is racing against time to be fit for the two match T-20 series that will take place after the Test series. Selection sources said that they are now only looking at bringing Mathews for the Nidhas Trophy tri-nation tournament at home involving India & Bangladesh. 30-year-old returned home from Dhaka with a hamstring injury and has been continuing rehab work in Colombo. more..

War taught us heroism

Feb 4 (CT) The LG elections to be held later this week is being conducted under new laws which make it mandatory for the Elections Commission to ensure that 25% of the elected Councillors are women, has made female politicians in Jaffna very enthusiastic about the poll. Ceylon Today visited the Northern capital at end of January and met some of the women candidates from major political parties contesting in the forthcoming more..

Disciplinary hearing on Niluka: Dayasiri

Feb 4 (CT) Sri Lanka badminton player Niluka Karunaratne replying an e-mail received from the Sri Lanka Badminton Federation (SLBF) who had requested him to attend practices aimed at choosing the national squad for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Australia from 4 to 15 April, has stated that as two officials of the SLBA have been alleged to have sought bribes from the Ministry and due to the lethargic administering of the sport, he had lost interest in the management. more..

1500metre gold for Gayanthika in Tehran

Feb 4 (ST) Gayanthika Abeyrathne made up for her disappointing performance in the women’s 800m by clinching the gold medal in the 1500m race at the 8th Asian Indoor Athletics Championship being held in Tehran, Iran. Abeyrathne clocked an impressive 4 mins 26.22secs to win the title. She was placed fourth in the 800m race earlier with a time of 2 mins 11.20 secs. SL had so far won three medals. Earlier Nimali Liyanarachchi won bronze in the women’s 800m with a time of 2 mins 10.83secs more..

Rejection of Govt Printer’s bid for e-Passport raises eyebrows

Feb 4 (ST) Rejection of the Govt Printer’s bid for the e-Passport facility at a cost of Rs.650 million in July, 2017 making way for De La Rue Lanka’s bid of Rs.1.2 billion proposal without competitive bidding has come to the limelight due to the legal tussle over the award of the tender without competitive bidding. Fundamental rights case challenging the decision to award the e-Passport project to UK-based De-La Rue Lanka was re-fixed for Feb 9 to support more..

Sri Lanka and Thailand share honours on day one at SLTA

Feb 4 (ST) The first two games of the five rubber Asia/Oceania Group II Davis Cup tie between Sri Lanka and Thailand which was played yesterday at the SLTA clay courts in Greenpath, Colombo saw the two countries sharing honours with a win each. Sharmal Dissanayake the hope of the host did not disappoint his supporters as he gave the host side a confident start with a comfortable two sets to nil win against his much experience opponent Jirat Navasirisomboon. more..

Sri Lanka’s opportunity to leverage high-end tourism with reclaimed beaches

Feb 4 (Island) Recent proposal of the Megapolis Ministry to reclaim the sea abutting the Galle Face Green and to extend it Southwards to Dehiwela is a commendable idea. In addition, Expressway coming into the City Center with links to other Expressways going North and South, it will be a realistic move. At the City end, Expressway linking the Port, Port City, and the underground access to the city hotels and the Marine Drive going South is appropriate as there would be a North-South link and would ease more..

UNP MPs want probe by select committee also

Feb 4 (ST) UNP MPs have given notice of a motion to set up a Select Committee to probe issues pertaining to deliberate violation of govt approved procurement procedures in purchase and leasing of aircraft resulting in enormous losses to SriLankan and Mihin Lanka Airlines during the former regime. The motion signed by 11 UNP MPs has been handed over to the Secretary General of Parliament. MPs want a probe on the action more..