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US carefully reviewing UN report on human rights situation in Sri Lanka

Jan 30 (PTI) The US has said that it is carefully reviewing a report from the UN on SL’s human rights situation which highlights worrying trends such as deepening impunity, increasing militarisation of governmental functions, ethno-nationalist rhetoric and intimidation of the civil society over the past year. The report urges enhanced monitoring and strong preventive action by the int'l community, warning that “SL’s current trajectory sets the scene for the recurrence of the policies & practices more..

Sri Lanka surpasses 300 COVID-19 deaths

Jan 30 (AD) 8 more Covid-19 related deaths in the country increasing the death toll due to the virus to 305. One of the victims is a 65-year-old male from Kolonnawa who was transferred from Colombo National Hospital to Iranawila Treatment Center after being identified as Covid-19 positive. He had passed away at that center on Jan 27 while the cause of death is Covid-19 pneumonia. A 67-year-old woman from Panadura had passed away at the Panadura Base Hospital on Jan 27 also due to more..

Selling SL: ECT issue reaches fever pitch

Jan 30 (CT) In the backdrop of Port trade unions declaring an indefinite strike until the Govt gives them a written guarantee that the East Container Terminal (ECT) will not be handed over to India’s Adani Group, Minister Wimal Weerawansa has called leaders representing eight political parties in the Govt to discuss what the best way to solve ECT issue, before it reaches explosive levels. Accordingly, Leader of PHU Minister Udaya more..

How sound is SriLanka’s collective consciousness?

Jan 30 (FT) Throughout the world the political leaders, whether they are democratic or autocratic, try to influence the collective consciousness of the society in order to establish their power. The people should be vigilant whether this proposed collective consciousness would be in the best interests of the nation. President Joe Biden took his oath as 46th President of USA recently. Unlike previous Presidential Elections of US, there was a degree of uncertainty until such time he took oath. more..

PCoI, human rights and Geneva sessions: What’s at stake?

Jan 30 (FT) President Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa (NGR) and his Govt’s nonchalance regarding the UNHRC report on Sri Lanka, which was a confidential document but released prematurely by the Foreign Minister to score political points, is typical of a regime trying to put up a brave face before succumbing to the inevitable. NGR’s appointment of yet another commission to inquire into human rights abuses is simply an exercise to hoodwink the world body. more..

ක්‍රිකට් පාලනය කරන්නේ හොරු: අර්ජුන

Stern action for breaking animal quarantine regulations

Jan 30 (DN) Strict legal measures will be taken against a person who has brought pet birds into the country without following proper animal quarantine regulations, DIG Ajith Rohana yesterday (29) said. According to the DIG, the said person has brought in 62 domesticated birds into the country from Doha, Qatar on Jan 7, 2021. “Any animal brought into the country should undergo a quarantine process. The said pet birds were brought in under a name registered as a company in Boralesgamuwa. more..

Airman nabbed over bank robbery in Ambalangoda

Jan 30 (DM) An Air Force personnel has been arrested for robbing Rs. 136,000 in cash from a rural bank at Usmudulawa in Ambalangoda by threatening the Bank's manageress yesterday. DIG Ajith Rohana said the suspect came in a motorbike wearing a fulface helmet had robbed the bank by threatening to explode a hand grenade before fleeing. However, the Ambalangoda police had began the hunt to net the suspect following an alert and nabbed thief minutes after the robbery. more..

SLC denies allegations of promoting an agenda of a religious group

Jan 30 (TM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) today denied allegations of promoting an agenda of a religious group described as Born Again and said these allegations were false and fabricated. In a statement, it said, “SLC wishes to express extreme disappointment at the baseless allegation leveled against certain SL national players, coaches, selectors and officials by certain quarters with a vested interest, who allege that more..

Public requested to hoist national flag at home for Independence Day

Jan 30 (DM) A top health official said, Sri Lanka would count on a mix of Covid-19 vaccines to ensure sufficient supplies for inoculation. Deputy Director General of Public Health Services Dr. Susi Perera said it was good that the Govt remained engaged with other countries to get vaccines. She said it was not advisable to rely only on one supplier given the high global demand for jabs. However, she said any vaccine would be allowed only after technical & regulatory clearances were given. more..

Sri Lanka 12-month inflation down in January 2021, prices up

Jan 30 (EN) SL’s 12-month consumer inflation rose 4.3% in January 2021 from a year earlier in the capital Colombo, slowing from 4.6% a month earlier, but prices rose 0.5% during the month, data from the state debt office showed. Colombo Consumer Price Index grew by 0.7 points to 138.7 points in January on top of a 0.7% rise in December and a 0.4% rise in November. Prices usually jump in Dec-Jan and May-June in SL. Food and non-alcoholic beverages index was up 0.9%, after rising 1.4% in Dec. more..

An oasis for terminally ill patients and their kith and kin too

Jan 30 (ST) Tranquillity and serenity descend like a gentle and soothing veil on anyone who walks or is wheeled in along its manicured pathways, past ponds dotted with water lilies and lotuses, into simply but aesthetically furnished lodgings. Set in green and lush surroundings, balm to weary eyes, it is a haven not only for those who take up lodging here but also their family members. Unimaginable it is that this is Ward 65, more..

Stax says Sri Lanka slow to accept remote-working, advocates wider adoption

Jan 30 (LBO) Stax Inc, a leading global management consulting firm, observes that delaying digitization during this pandemic era would present substantial drawbacks for SL companies as they would lack the capacity to compete globally. By adopting digitization, Stax Inc. articulates that businesses would soon learn that customers are no longer confined to the geography of SL and could thus improve their scope of clientele and operations. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, more..

Madushanka, Ranasinghe and Dharmaratne compete as inaugural Online Asian...

Jan 30 (LBO) Top three clay target shooters of NSSF Skeet Open 2021 Championship namely Prasad Madushanka, Sandakelum Ranasinghe and Shankar Dharmaratne commenced the first round of the inaugural Online Asian Shooting Championship at Payagala on Friday. The trio who qualified for the event by becoming the top three finishers of the recently conducted NSSF Skeet Open 2021, fired the first half of the allotted number of shots yesterday and will return today to complete more..

Northern farmers unable to shed ‘tax’ imposed by separatists

Jan 30 (ST) Francis Anthony Joseph of Pedro Estate, Nuwara Eliya once grew Chinese vegetables in a plot near his house to support the family. But, during the pandemic, he chose to grow leeks and potatoes last year. He could not get a fair price for his crop. Joseph cultivated broccoli, iceberg lettuce, rocket lettuce, and bok choy targetting Chinese restaurants in Nuwara Eliya but that was before the pandemic. more..

Navy finds over 67kg of Kerala cannabis hidden in shrubs close to Manthai beach

Jan 30 (SLN) The Navy managed to recover about 67kg and 500g of Kerala cannabis, during a special operation conducted in Manthai area, Mannar on 29th January 2021. A special operation led by the North Central Naval Command in Manthai area, Mannar made way to find a stock of Kerala cannabis hidden in shrubs at two separate locations by smugglers close to the Manthai beach. The consignment weighed over 67kg and 500g was in 32 packages which had been stuffed in more..

'Previous govt hampered CID probe'

Jan 30 (CT) Minister Sarath Weerasekera, says the probe into the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attack had not been conducted efficiently by the CID during the previous UNF-led regime. However, he said a special Police team, that had been formed to investigate it, had now been able to uncover most of the hidden details pertaining to the carnage that took place two years ago. Weerasekera charged that certain powerful politicians in the previous Govt had exerted undue political influence more..

‘Forest lands given to big businesses’

Jan 30 (Island) The govt had not introduced mechanisms to ensure a stable and adequate food supply although almost a year has passed since SL became affected by Covid-19, Moderator of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR), Chinthaka Rajapakshe said, commenting on soaring food prices. Rajapakshe said that if the govt had worked according to a strategy, it could have increased more..

Online training courses for Police inaugurated

Jan 30 (FT) A series of e-ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) training courses for SL Police officials conducted by India commenced on Thursday, Indian High Commission said. Due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, a total of 10 courses are being organised online in the next one month. The Inaugural Session was attended by SL Police officers including Senior DIG Priyantha Weerasooriya and Indian officers from the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), more..

Sri Lanka’s daily Covid 19 infection rate rising steadily

Jan 30 (EN) SL’s daily infection rate for the Covid 19 virus is rising as the number of deaths since the outbreak went over the 300 mark yesterday according to figures released by Director-General Health Services this morning (30). Eight more deaths that occurred over the past few days were reported as confirmed pandemic deaths taking the death toll from the disease to 305. SL’s death rate from the disease is lower than that of India and the South-East Asian region but almost 3 times more..

New SC judges stress the need for people-friendly laws, quality judgments and...

Jan 30 (ST) The ceremonial sittings for six newly-appointed Supreme Court Justices were held at the SC on Wednesday and Thursday under COVID-19 compliant guidelines. Justices A.H.M.D. Nawaz, Kumuduni Wickremasinghe, Shiran Gooneratne, Mahinda Samayawardhena, Achala Wengappuli and Janak De Silva were ceremonially welcomed at the SC complex. Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, other Justices of SC, more..

Political, civil salvoes target youth discipline via military training idea

Jan 30 (ST) Two former military men were at loggerheads this week, after one’s statement on introducing military training for youth above 18 years old caused a stir in the political arena and confusion among people. Public Security Minister retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara earlier this week announced that he would be presenting a proposal to Parliament on compulsory military training for all above 18 years to create a more disciplined society. Opposition lawmaker and Field Marshal more..

SJB: Don’t barter ECT for Indian vaccine

Jan 30 (Island) SJB said it was happy that India had donated 500,000 Covid-19 vaccines, but SJB General Secretary, MP Ranjith Maddumabandara said that the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port should not be bartered for the vaccine. The current administration came to power promising not to sell state assets. However, it was selling strategic assets on the pretext of attracting foreign investment, he claimed. “Most countries started the vaccination process a few weeks more..

Rajitha faces trial on 2 March

Jan 30 (CT) Colombo HC Judge Damith Thotawatta on Friday, fixed 2 March to decide on a date for the trial against ex-Minister Rajitha Senaratne and former head of the SPC Mohammad Rumy. Senaratne and Rumy are charged with conducting a Media conference and levelling baseless allegations against Prez Rajapaksa. Judge also ordered four Media outlets to make the necessary facilities available for the lawyers more..

Is Sri Lanka not inviting trouble with open arms, asks expert

Jan 30 (ST) Strong calls are going out to the health authorities to review the strategies used to combat COVID-19 in SL without trying to mix and match them to fit plans drawn up without taking the ground reality into consideration. “The review should not be conducted internally by the Health Ministry but should include knowledgeable external experts as also the WHO,” said President of the College of Community Physicians of SL, Dr. Nihal Abeysinghe, stressing that the review more..

Easter Attack PCoI: Report nearly 100,000 pages long

Jan 30 (CT) The final report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Easter Sunday bombings, will be approximately 100,000 pages long and will cost close to Rs 10 million to print alone, Ceylon Today learns. Meanwhile, a member of the Commission stated, during a recent sitting, a significant portion of the report had already been prepared. It had been sent to the Department of Govt Printing. It is also reported the testimonies of the witnesses take up nearly 40,000 pages. more..

Orchids snatched from forests to satisfy shutdown-driven craze

Jan 30 (ST) Endemic wild orchid plants are being pillaged from forests following a social media-driven craze for the flowers especially after people turned to gardening to relieve the tedium of COVID-9 lockdowns. Among the orchid plants being offered on the internet and surreptitiously on roadsides are the Vesak flower orchid (Dendrobium maccarthiae), wanaraja or jewel orchid (Anoetochilus regalis), sanda raja more..

Minister determined to give Rs 1000 daily wage to estate workers through Wages Board

Jan 30 (Island) Minister of Labour Nimal Siripala de Silva said a daily wage of Rs. 1,000 would be given to estate workers without fail, De Silva said that the present collective agreement between the unions and the plantation owners would expire on 31 Jan. If the unions and the plantation owners couldn’t agree on a Rs. 1,000 daily wage, the issue would be sorted out through the Wages Board. Minister de Silva said that the Cabinet too had approved the proposal to increase the daily wages. more..

FSP blasts govt’s failure to deliver on its promise to increase daily wage of estate...

Jan 30 (Island) The govt’s promise to increase the daily wage of the plantation workers to Rs. 1,000 would not be fulfilled, Propaganda Secretary of the FSP Duminda Nagamuwa said. Nagamuwa said that in 2020 the govt had issued four gazettes announcing price controls, which were ignored by large scale rice mill owners. “This is also not the first time that the govt has undertaken to increase the daily wages of estate workers. Last year also the Cabinet approved a proposal to increase more..

CEJ challenges through writ petition illegal landfills and dumping of waste in...

Jan 30 (Island) Centre for Environmental Justice, through a writ petition in the Court of Appeal, on Tuesday, challenged the illegal landfills and dumping of garbage in the Muthurajawela wetlands. CEJ Executive Director Hemantha Withanage said several factories located in and around the Muthurajawela wetland released their waste into the protected area. Although some factories had been granted EPLs, more..

Towards true independence

Jan 31 (SO) 73 years ago, SL gained independence from colonial powers who had ruled SL for nearly 400 years. It was a momentous occasion in the country’s chequered history. The centuries of foreign domination had undermined the nation’s sovereignty and diminished the people’s willpower. The nation was at its nadir under the yoke of colonialism. Feb 4, 1948 was the culmination of years of struggle by patriots from all ethnicities, religious groups and walks of life for independence for SL. more..

UNHRC’s sword of damocles

Jan 31 (TM) There was a time when leading proponents of the present regime would go on hunger strikes and speak out vocally against perceived western interference in domestic matters. These chest-beating patriots would be the first in line to give their unsolicited opinion on matters of national interest. Such patriotism usually results in placing the Govt in an awkward situation, leading to inevitable backtracking. But these days, with no election on the horizon, the pseudo-patriots more..

'Public-private partnership needed to develop ECT'

Jan 31 (SO) State Minister Dilum Amunugama said if we want to develop the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port, obviously we have to go for a public-private partnership. He said all the constituent parties of the Govt say that the Govt should take a final decision whether to develop the ECT or not. The State Minister in an interview said the ECT can be developed if sufficient funds are available locally. more..

UNP heavyweights unhappy over new appointments

Jan 31 (SO) Although the UNP Working Committee made a song and dance about appointing new office- bearers to the party, UNP seniors Navin Dissanayake and Arjuna Ranatunga have turned down the posts offered to them. This is a clear indication that the internal dispute within the party still remains unresolved and some party heavyweights seem to be unhappy about the new appointments made by the party hierarchy and former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s decision more..

Sunny side up: MR back at Abhayaram

Jan 31 (TM) The Abhayarama Temple in Narahenpita was one time a hive of activity as the headquarters of PM Mahinda Rajapaksa’s political work after relinquishing the post of President in 2015. Temple’s Chief Incumbent Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera, at the time, played a key role in supporting Rajapaksa as well as getting the nationalist forces back on one platform. However, with the Govt’s announcement of the East Container Terminal (ECT) at Colombo Port more..

'UN Rights Chief’s call is selective targeting'

Jan 31 (SO) Former Head of the UN Treaty Section, Sri Lanka’s one-time Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York and Foreign Secretary during the final stages of the battle against terrorism Dr. Palitha Kohona said, the call of the UN Human Rights High Commissioner on Sri Lanka in her latest report cannot be justified since it goes against the very mandate of UNHRC which was never set up more..

Govt yet undecided on consensual resolution at UNHRC

Jan 31 (TM) SL’s political arena these days is dominated by two topics – the impending UNHRC sessions and the controversy over the proposed joint venture with India on developing the East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port. Both issues have put to the test SL’s prowess in diplomacy as well as relations with the country’s neighbour, India. With bits and pieces of the advanced copy of the UNHRC High Commissioner’s final draft on Sri Lanka being publicised in more..

Market boom and money printing: A correlation analysis

Jan 31 (TM) SL’s market boom soon after a year of human misery as The Economic Times of India refers to the year 2020, has been jaw droppingly impressive. Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in Jan 2021 broke its own records achieved years ago and rose to the second best performing stock market in the world. Opposition cast doubts over the CSE’s record-breaking performances and stated this is either another pumping & dumping saga or money laundering by the wealthy of the country more..

ෆ්‍රෙෂ් මිල්ක් කියලා අපි බොන්නෙ මොනවද?

Hold provincial council elections without delay

Jan 31 (CT) Uva and Southern Provincial Council elections have been delayed by more than a year. The Northern and North Western provincial elections should have been held two years ago. The Eastern, North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils are overdue by three years. These are blatant violation of the conditions laid down for the conduct of the Provincial Council Elections by the Election Commission in terms of the gazette notification dated 29 Jan 1988 more..