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e-Health cards to be issued from February

Jan 14 (GDI) Minister Rajitha Senaratne, said that issuing an eHealth card in Sri Lanka would commence in February. As the preliminary stage it is planned to issue e-Health cards at Kalutara General Hospital, Bandaragama Regional Hospital. The e-Health card is to be given to the public within a period of 6 months. The issuing of the e-health card allows the patient to receive treatment in any part of the country more..

'General Election crucial not Constitution'

Jan 14 (CT) What is most important for the country at this crucial juncture is a General Election to appoint a new Govt and not a new Constitution, said the Anu Nayake Thera of Asgiriya Chapter, Anamaduwe Dhammadassi Thera. Ven. Dhammadassi Thera said this when the Chairman of the SLPP Prof. G.L Peiris met the Ven. Thera on 12 January in the Thera’s temple in Kandy. Thera further said that questions are raised as to more..

Colombo named the must-photograph travel destination of 2019

Jan 14 (Mirror) Colombo in Sri Lanka has been named the must-photograph travel destination of 2019, in a study. Research of more than 1.3 million social media posts found the Asian city is the location travellers most want to take a picture of, followed by Yokohama in Japan and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The Isle of Harris in Scotland also made the list, along with Baden-Baden in Germany’s Black Forest. more..

Constitutional reforms: JVP seeks to allay fears

Jan 14 (Island) The JVP called on people to reject outdated politics and politicians who were disseminating lies about the proposed Constitution and trying instill fear in the minds of people. JVP Propaganda Secretary MP Vijitha Herath, said: "The political discourse on new Constitution has resumed and some political parties are creating federal bogeys. This we have seen every time whenever an attempt is taken to more..

Govt team arrives in Washington for IMF talks

Jan 14 (FT) The SL delegation, headed by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, arrived in Washington yesterday to begin talks with the IMF to put the $ 1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program back on track, Non-Cabinet Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said. “Arrived in DC with @MangalaLK in the first real snowfall this winter for meetings with @IMFNews. Meeting MD @Lagarde and others with Governor more..

Allianz picked over local to offer cheaper school insurance

Jan 14 (ST) Cabinet last week approved Rs.1.8 billion for the Ministry of Education to engage private insurer Allianz to provide health insurance for 4.3 million schoolchildren. The ministry said it would sign an agreement with Allianz Insurance at a cost of Rs.1.6 million plus VAT to renew the Suraksha health insurance scheme that lapsed last October. Payment covers schoolchildren from Dec 1, 2018 to Nov 30, 2019. more..

Human trafficking rocks BIA

Jan 14 (CT) The foreign employment industry yesterday called on the authorities to simplify the legitimate recruiting process to combat mass scale trafficking of Sri Lankan maids that is currently taking place at the BIA. Thousands of women are known to be leaving the country each month through dubious channels and are helped towards this end by unscrupulous rogue sub agents operating throughout the island, President of more..

Draft shipping policy creates storm

Jan 14 (FT) Barely a week after a sudden tariff revision, which was implemented without the knowledge of the private sector or the new Minister, a new so-called final shipping and logistics policy document has surfaced last week, making the UNF Govt policy a mockery in major areas of economic reforms. Industry has been once again given a national shipping policy document named as final draft on 8 Jan, to respond to by 12 Jan. more..

'Japan, Sri Lanka and India must maintain military balance with China'

Jan 14 (CT) Between 2000 and 2017, the USA acquired only 15 submarines, while China acquired at least 44, Visiting Fellow of Hudson Institute, Washington DC, Dr. Satoru Nagao of Japan emphasised at an international colloquium held in Colombo, recently. He noted that US-Chinese relations are becoming increasingly tense, and countries, including Japan, India, and Sri Lanka, must adapt to the new circumstances. more..

Disability rights shifts focus from charity to independence

Jan 14 (Roar) Crammed into a tuk, Tikiri Kumara and I head towards the Diyatha Uyana park for a quick chat after work. “I always like to get away from the office,” he said. “Changing the environment helps change the mood.” Kumara was an avid arts student at Uni of Ruhuna, and dreamed of becoming a painter before the convenience of a job at the Election Commission’s Rajagiriya office presented itself to him a few months ago. more..

Another Elephantine disaster waiting to happen?

Jan 14 (DM) There is possibly no other wild elephant who is more famous in SL than Rambo, of Uda Walawe National Park, (UNWP). For the past two decades, Rambo has patrolled the stretch of the UNWP bund, and he has now become a permanent fixture there. Many passing vehicles stop and feed him with juicy tit bits such as watermelon, bananas and sugarcane. He has always respected to the electric fence, and never ever did try to break out. (The fence is really a psychological barrier more..

US and SL Govt shutdown; distinction without a difference

Jan 14 (DM) On Jan 11, 2019, hundreds of US federal govt employees who were sent on compulsory leave, and out-of-work US govt contractors both of whom were victims of the US Govt partial shutdown, protested outside the White House. Greeting each other as hello fellow pawns, the protesters were calling for an end to the shutdown which had effectively put them out of employment in the aftermath of President Trump’s refusal to sign a short-term spending bill -- more..

Gota says ready for presidency!

Jan 14 (FT) Giving the clearest indication yet of his intention to run in the upcoming Prez elections, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said he is ready to take up the challenge when polls are called, possibly towards the end of 2019. Speaking at a Viyathmaga event at Water’s Edge on Saturday, Rajapaksa argued that he advocates Jathikathwaya over Jathiwadaya. According to him, the former is defined as more..

Two PTL beneficiaries reappointed to COPE

Jan 14 (Island) Many an eyebrow has been raised over the re-appointment of Non-cabinet Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe and UPFA MP Dayasiri Jayasekera to the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) though they have received money from the disgraced primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) involved in the CB bond scams, in 2015 & 2016. COPE was reconstituted following the convening of Parliament with the reappointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as PM. more..

PM plans program to improve Buddhism and promote cooperation among religions

Jan 14 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says he will conduct discussions with the Maha Sangha on improving Buddhism within the country. Wickremesinghe, in his statement speaking to the media following his visit to the Chief Prelate of Kotte, Sri Kalyani Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha, Ven. Ittapana Dhammalankara Thero, said steps will be taken with the participation of Education, Buddha Sasana and Cultural Affairs Ministries to promote co-operation & harmony among all religions more..

Prepare for PC election before Presidential election: President

Jan 14 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the SLFP electoral organisers to prepare for a Provincial Council Election, which will probably come before a Presidential Election. The President made these remarks yesterday while addressing SLFP Uva and Central Province Electoral Organisers. The President added that certain persons are trying to postpone the Provincial Council election, more..

Navy apprehends 20 Indian fishermen for poaching in Sri Lankan waters

Jan 14 (SLN) SL Navy, during a special operation, apprehended 20 Indian fishermen and 3 fishing trawlers belonging to them, for poaching in Sri Lankan territorial waters yesterday (12). Accordingly, 9 fishers onboard 2 fishing trawlers were taken into custody in the seas off the Delft Island and rest of the 11 fishermen and their trawler were arrested in the sea area of Thalaimannar. The Indian fishers were brought to the naval bases; SLNS Elara in Kareinagar and SLNS Buwaneka more..

Dr. Anula Wijesundere inducted as SLMA president

Jan 14 (ST) Well-known Consultant Physician Dr. Anula Wijesundere was inducted as the 122nd President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), at a ceremony attended by a large and distinguished gathering at the SL Foundation Institute, last evening. Chief Guest was Post Graduate Institute of Medicine Director Prof. Janaka de Silva. With her theme being Facing the challenges and forging ahead for better health outcomes, Dr. Wijesundere more..

Marapana instructs Lankan diplomats to boost image of Sri Lanka overseas

Jan 14 (FT) Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana has called on SL diplomats to boost the image of Sri Lanka overseas through efficient and effective execution of public diplomacy, utilising its intrinsic brands such as Buddhism, gems, tea, spices, high-end export products and the warmth of traditional SL hospitality. He made these remarks at the certificate awarding ceremony on 11 January of the two-week long Public Diplomacy and more..

Video: A new President will be declared by end of 2019: Basil

Jan 14 (AD) National Organizer of the SLPP, Basil Rajapaksa says that he is prepared to produce a new President from the SLPP-led coalition by the end of the year 2019. He said that he looks forward to the youth’s energy and participation in rebuilding the collapsed country. Basil Rajapaksa made these comments at an SLPP meeting held in Mahara, today (13). Stating that this was not just a mere statement, he pointed out that the one-year-old SLPP was able to beat the 72 years old UNP, more..

LRDC Chairman noticed to appear in HC Trial-at-Bar

Jan 14 (DN) The Colombo Permanent High Court-at-Bar issued an order directing the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (LRDC) Chairman to appear in Court on January 17 in connection with the indictments filed against former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and six others. The court made this order to inquire from the LRDC Chairman, as to why the LRDC failed to submit in court several documents pertaining to the indictments. more..

'Presidential candidate of SLFP is President Sirisena without doubt'

Jan 14 (DM) Former Minister and Senior Vice President of the SLFP, Nimal Siripala De Silva reiterated that the Presidential candidate of the SLFP would be President Maithripala Sirisena. He added that the SLFP would do its utmost to promote President Sirisena as the common candidate of the joint opposition against the UNF candidate to garner the support of all progressive and anti-UNP forces including the SLPP and in particular more..

‘UNP will win the Presidential Election’

Jan 14 (NR) Former Minister Mervin Silva claims the UNP will be victorious at the next Presidential Election and at the next Parliamentary Election. Former UPFA MP Mervin Silva said an UNPer will be appointed as the next President and the PM of the country. While highlighting numerous corrupt and fraudulent activities during the tenure of the previous UPFA-led govt, former Minister Mervin Silva said he will back an anti-Rajapaksha camp at future elections. more..

Video: Two persons shot dead in Wattala

Jan 14 (AD) Two persons have been killed in a shooting that took place at around 3.30 pm today (13) near the Aiyyan Sapirimale Kovil in the Hekitta road in Wattala. Reportedly, unidentified persons who had arrived on a car had fired shots before fleeing the scene. The two deceased persons had been traveling on a car when the incident occurred. A female had also been present inside the vehicle when the shooting took place; however, she has not been harmed. more..

COPE gets new faces

Jan 14 (FT) The COPE has been appointed with 16 new members to serve for the remaining period of the eighth Parliament. Minister Rauff Hakeem, Non-Cabinet Ministers Sujeewa Senasinghe, Harsha de Silva, Ajith P. Perera, State Ministers Wasantha Aluwihare, Ranjan Ramanayake, and Ashok Abeysinghewere among the Govt appointees. Making up the remaining numbers were UPFA MPs Anura more..

Mother & daughter remanded for killing turtle

Jan 14 (Island) Wildlife Rangers of Anawilundawa and Navy officers arrested two women, a woman and her daughter, who had killed a turtle and were preparing the flesh for sale, on Friday, at Naguleliya, Arachchikattuwa. The two women, aged 20 and 41, were produced before Chilaw magistrate’s court and remanded till Jan. 14 It is alleged that they killed the turtle while it was on the beach looking for a place to lay eggs. The rangers and navy personnel arrested the two women during a combined patrol. more..

Windfall for Hayleys Group and other shareholders from Hunas Falls Hotels deal

Jan 14 (FT) Hayleys Group, other shareholders and retailers are in for a windfall with the impending purchase of control of Hunas Falls Hotels PLC at a premium by Serenity Lake Leisure Ltd. Hayleys Group on Friday announced that Carbotels Ltd., (owning 50.22%) and Amaya Leisure (16%) have entered into a Share Sale Purchase Agreement with Serenity Lake Leisure Ltd for the sale of their entire shareholdings amounting to 66.2% for Rs. 696.3 million. more..

Customs to expand radiological surveillance capabilities at BIA

Jan 14 (ST) Sri Lanka Customs is planing to expand its radiological surveillance capabilities to the BIA. Currently, Customs operates a networked radiological alarms system and specialised investigative team at the Colombo port. Late last year seven consignments of cargo inbound to Sri Lanka were ordered to be shipped back to their place of origin due to unsafe levels of radiation. The last consignment ordered to be returned was more..

All Tamil schools closed today

Jan 14 (NR) All govt Tamil medium schools will be closed today, in view of the Thai Pongal festival. Thai Pongal festival will be celebrated on Tuesday by all Hindu devotees in the country. Accordingly the office of the NP Governor had previously announced that all schools in the North will be closed tomorrow and announced that a special school session will be held on Saturday. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the Ministry has decided to close all Tamil medium schools in the country, more..

Video: New constitution is powerful: Vajira

Jan 14 (AD) Minister of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Govt Vajira Abeywardena stated that the new constitution is very powerful and it strengthens the govt. Addressing a public rally in Galle, he said that the new constitution is more powerful than the 1978 constitution. He said that work is being carried out just as they gained power on 8th January and 17th August in 2015. Abeywardena further said that the govt has become more powerful now. more..

Video: New committee to probe frauds in health sector: GMOA

Jan 14 (AD) President Sirisena has agreed to appoint a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to probe complaints regarding fraudulent activities in the Ministry of Health, says the GMOA. Accordingly, President has agreed to publish a gazette notification on the appointment of this special Presidential Commission of Inquiry, GMOA Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge stated. A discussion between the Prez and GMOA more..

Sri Lankan in custody over fatal stabbing of compatriot

Jan 14 (MI) A Sri Lankan man was arrested over the fatal stabbing of a fellow national Thursday night in the Ellaidhoo Maldives Resort. According to media reports, the 24-year-old male victim was stabbed during a fight between the two construction workers in the Alif Alif atoll resort operated by SL’s Cinnamon Group, the hotel chain of the John Keells conglomerate. Following his arrest Thursday night, the 39-year-old suspect was remanded to police custody for 15 days by the magistrate court more..

Ireland back on track after Sri Lanka strike

Jan 14 (Island) Ireland overcame a mini-collapse to post a healthy 286-4, thanks to the rescue act of Lorkan Tucker (61*) and Neil Rock (57*), when bad light had the final say of the opening day, yesterday, of the second and final unofficial test, between Sri Lanka ‘A’ and Ireland ‘A’ at Suriyawewa. Irish, all out to square the series, lost James Shannon cheaply, but the James McCollum alongside Stephen Doheny, steadied their ship with a century worth stand for 2nd wicket after being put into bat. more..

Poor boy Harin; he has a problem at hand

Jan 14 (ST) In the Indian subcontinent, there may not be anyone who does not know the Kisa Gotami story. When her child died she thought that the little one was only sick and wanted someone to treat him. She approached the Buddha and said, “My name is Kisa. I have been looking everywhere for medicine for my son." The Buddha looked at the little bundle in Kisa’s arms. How could Kisa be helped to realise the truth more..

Olympic Committee going gaga

Jan 14 (ST) Last week we were amazed to read in the newspapers the President of our Olympic Committee saying that SL will compete at the Winter Olympics and that for this purpose the Olympic committee is looking at constructing an Ice Ring ! We don’t have a winter in this country and there is no snow here. Building Ice Rings and their maintenance is very expensive and not only a waste of money but will be lucrative to those businessmen and operatives who are masters at more..

Edtorial: Is CA constitutional?

Jan 14 (Island) The UNP, which was instrumental in leasing out the Hambantota White Elephant (read the inland port) to the Chinese in 2017, has apparently sold the Sirikotha Elephant to the TNA. There is nothing the UNP (or any other political party, for that matter) will hesitate to do to remain in power, and the TNA is using its support for the minority govt to make the UNP do its bidding. Whoever would have thought the UNP would go hell for leather to submit the Expert Panel report more..