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Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis lead Sri Lanka's strong reply

Jan 22 (CI) Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis led Sri Lanka's steady progress on day three, as the visitors finished just 63 runs adrift, with six wickets still in hand. They lost a wicket in each session on what was a still placid Harare Sports Club surface. The most likely route to a result in this Test may be for Sri Lanka to establish a big lead in the first innings, then dismiss Zimbabwe cheaply. While Mathews started slowly, more..

Clarion call for an effective first-class cricket structure

Jan 22 (DN) Legendary left-arm spinner Rangana Herath has urged Sri Lanka Cricket to revamp the first-class cricket structure. Herath is not the first past Test cricketer to call for a change in the current inferior first-class domestic cricket structure and he won’t be the last either. “Our domestic cricket structure must improve if we are to compete against formidable teams,” was Herath’s plea to Sri Lanka Cricket. Several past cricketers including the present Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne more..

Editorial: Handling foreign waste: Malaysia shows the way

Jan 22 (Island) The Malaysian government has set an example to its counterparts in the developing world in handling foreign garbage. It has told the exporters of plastic waste, in no uncertain terms, that they must stop trying to turn Malaysia into a waste dump and matched its words with action; it has sent back 150 containers of plastic waste to 13 countries, including Sri Lanka, during the last several months, according to a news item we published yesterday. more..

S.M. Chandrasena

UNP’s future in limbo

Jan 22 (TM) The much-awaited decision on the leadership of the UNP was once again delayed, as last week’s meeting ended with the failure to reach a conclusive resolution and Sajith Premadasa’s camp adamant to form its own alliance from within the party to face the next general election. During the UNP parliamentary group meeting held on 9 January, it was indicated by the current leadership that it was crucial to regain the Sinhala-Buddhist vote – the loss of which many believe was more..

Focus shifts towards Geneva

Jan 22 (TM) With the UNHRC meeting at the end of next month in Geneva for its regular session, Sri Lanka has already commenced diplomatic-level discussions to secure support to counter any pressure which may be exerted on the new Govt. Govt sources said that both Russia and China have already reiterated their support for Sri Lanka and similar support is expected from Pakistan and other countries that have in the past opposed any interference in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs. more..

Duminda convicted on circumstantial evidence

Jan 22 (CT) Exposure of Ranjan Ramanayake voice recordings has thrown a cloud over the judiciary and people have started to question the veracity of their judgments. The confidence instilled in the judiciary by the trusting public was shattered and caused massive damage to the respect and confidence directed to such bodies that have been appointed to implement and maintain law and order more..

Needed: genuinely professional politicians

Jan 22 (DN) Almost through the entire history of our Parliament, we have tolerated the recurring, unprofessional conduct and unproductive contributions from many of our politicians, who make a mockery out of august assemblies such as the Provincial Councils and the Parliament. In a scenario of bulging packages of high-cost fringe benefits offered to undeserving and unqualified politicians, the time has come to break the shackles of convention and listen to the disillusioned more..

New vistas in higher education

Jan 22 (DN) Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. So said the visionary South African leader, the late Nelson Mandela. Education is indeed a life-changing experience, where the ultimate aim is to produce good citizens who can make a positive contribution to society. But the education sector in Sri Lanka is riddled with many problems, some of which have been persisting for decades. One silver lining is that SL is one of the few developing countries more..

Poison in the air: Monitoring SL's air quality

Jan 22 (Roar) Early last November, Colombo woke up to an unusual smog lingering over the city. At first, many thought it was a mist brought about by the impending cold weather. But by late morning, news had begun to filter through that Sri Lanka’s air quality had turned unhealthy. Almost as widespread as the smog was the rumour it came from Delhi, India. But although almost half the 50 most polluted cities in the world are in India, more..

Project scope options if the govt wishes to accept the MCC grant

Jan 22 (CT) Cabinet having approved a proposal by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to suspend the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant agreement has appointed a four member committee headed by Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan to study the deal and propose further action. If the Government based on the Gunaruwan Committee findings, decide to proceed with the acceptance of the MCC grant, subject to the project scope being amended from the presently agreed three focus areas, more..

When a rose is not a rose: The change of the normative framework

Jan 22 (CT) What took place as a result of the 1972 and 1978 constitutions was the change of the normative framework of the legal system of Sri Lanka. One aspect of the explanation lies in how language affects understanding. Words derive their meaning from what exists in the outside world, whether it will be nature or social realities. However, when it comes to abstract ideas, when a word is used to express an idea that is outside of reality, the word itself acquires a fixed meaning more..

Three Sri Lankans fined by Dubai court for insulting Islam on social media

Jan 21 (KT) Dubai public prosecution accused three Sri Lankans, aged between 28 and 34, of contempt of religion through posts on Instagram and Facebook. It referred them to trial pursuant to the anti-discriminatory and hatred law and the Federal Penal Code. Dubai Court of First Instance ordered that all the three accused be deported after paying the fines. The trio has been detained. The case dates back to May 19 last year. more..

Chinese company moots eco-friendly electric tram car project

Jan 21 (DN) A Chinese company has expressed its willingness to implement an eco-friendly electric tram car project as a solution for the huge traffic congestion prevailing within the Colombo City and suburbs, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. According to the representatives of the Chinese company named China Railway Group Ltd, as the first phase of the project they are planning to construct a track above 14 feet along High Level road from Kottawa - Pettah to provide transport facilities using more..

SLFP is suffering for what they did: Marikkar

Jan 21 (DM) The SLFP is suffering for what they did to the UNP during the coalition govt of 2015, UNP MP S.M. Marikkar said. He said that the SLFP was at the mercy of SLPP for what it did to the UNP during the coalition govt. “SLFP was given all good ministries. They employed their supporters in the institutions that came under their ministries while UNPers did not get a single employment opportunity in some state institutions. The SLFP is therefore suffering retribution today,” he said. more..

Ranjan tables audio clips in Parliament

Jan 21 (DM) MP Ranjan Ramanayake today tabled in Parliament several CDs containing audio clips of phone conversations he has had with many people including a few heads of State. He did so while stating in Parliament that he was tabling the CDs containing telephone conversations he has had with politicians of various political parties, prostitutes, artistes and even heads of State. However, MP said more..

Five forensic audits into EPF, Treasury bonds cost Rs.275mn: Central Bank

Jan 21 (EN) Central Bank said five forensic audits into the EPF and issuance of Treasury Bonds cost the taxpayer 275 million rupees. The CB in a statement said a cabinet appointed consultant procurement committee, with approval from the cabinet of ministers, selected audit firms with global practice and international experience in forensic audits. Five forensic audits have been completed at a cost of 275 million rupees, while the procurement for the remaining audit is ongoing, more..

UNP MP Shantha Abeysekara granted bail

Jan 21 (AD) UNP MP Shantha Abeysekara, who was remanded for violating bail conditions on a case filed in 2004, has been granted bail by the Chilaw High Court after more than three months. The MP is one of the suspects of a case (16/07) filed before the Chilaw High Court over an incident of illegal possession of firearms while being a member of an illegal assembly in Chilaw in 2004. Abeysekara had been granted bail by the court on 31.03.2019 with regard to case while one of bail conditions more..

Hirunika lodges complaint at CID over leaked phone calls

Jan 21 (EN) UNF MP Hirunika Premachandra has lodged a complaint with the CID over the recorded telephone conversations purportedly between her and MP Ranjan Ramanayake. Premachandra filed the complaint yesterday under provisions in the Computer Crimes Act No 24 of 2007 that pertain to information stored in a computer. Even as she is contesting their authenticity, more..

Interdicted Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala questioned for over 3 hours

Jan 21 (AD) Interdicted Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala has left the CCD after recording a statement for over three hours. He had arrived at the CCD at around 2.30 p.m. to record a statement over his controversial video conversation with UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake. Earlier this month, a series of audio recordings of phone conversations between the MP and several high-profile officials in the country including former Director of CID Shani Abeysekara & justices, were leaked to media. more..

Inland Revenue says no debt repayment tax on banks from Jan

Jan 21 (EN) Sri Lana’s Department of Inland Revenue has issued a notice saying a debt repayment levy, a new direct tax slapped on banks by the last administration need not be paid from January, potentially lifting their profits from next year. The debt repayment levy, like all direct taxes hits capital formation, investment and future jobs unlike indirect taxes like value added tax. The Inland Revenue Department has issued a notice ahead of parliamentary passage of the tax. more..

Video: Karu will settle UNP issue this week: Mujibur

Jan 21 (DM) Stating that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya would resolve the UNP crisis within this week, UNP MP Mujibur Rahaman said that prominent members of the party should be prepared to make sacrifices to safeguard the party’s future. He said that Speaker Jayasuriya would resolve the issue this week through an arrangement which could be accepted by everyone including Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa. more..

No Tamils, Muslims on Task Force on Education: CTU

Jan 21 (Island) Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU), said that the Education Minister had not appointed a single Tamil or Muslim to the Task Force on Education. CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin said: "Task Force is to formulate a national policy. So, there should be representation from all ethnic communities. Those from different mediums of instruction and geographical areas face different issues and we must have a good understanding of all these. That’s why it is vital to have at least more..

Bill to repeal Kandyan Marriage & Divorce Act to be tabled in Parliament

Jan 21 (AD) Bill to repeal the Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act will be tabled in the Parliament today. The parliamentary session chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is scheduled to convene at 1 pm this afternoon. A proposal presented by MP Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thera as a Private Member’s Bill will accordingly be tabled in Parliament. Ven. Rathana Thera said the Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act must be repealed just as the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) more..

DIG Rohana calls for 20-year jail term for drunk drivers causing fatal accidents

Jan 21 (Island) Nearly 500,000 accidents take place countrywide annually going by the insurance records, says Deputy Inspector General of Police, Attorney-at-Law Ajith Rohana. Speaking at the Symposium and Stakeholder meeting under the theme Safe Sri Lanka: Road Safety Challenge 2020, on Saturday, DIG Rohana said that all those road accidents were preventable. He said that most of the accidents went more..

Black panther not different species but melanistic colour variant: Wildlife Dept

Jan 21 (EN) The dark-furred leopard that made headlines earlier this week is not of an extinct species as claimed by some but an otherwise ordinary leopard displaying a colour mutation, experts said. Images of a so called black panther that was captured by a trap camera in the central hills in October last year went viral online yesterday following an announcement of its discovery by the Dept of Wildlife (DWC). The animal is a melanistic colour variant of SL leopard more..

Govt Analyst ordered to submit report on Swiss Embassy staffer’s phone

Jan 21 (AD) Colombo Chief Magistrate has ordered the Govt Analyst to analyze and submit a report of the local Swiss Embassy staffer, Garnia Bannister Francis’s personal phone. On the 30th of Dec last year, Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne released the embassy staffer on bail under two personal bail bonds of Rs 500,000 each. However, her foreign travels were banned and her passport was taken into the custody of the court. Francis was arrested on Dec 16 by the CID and more..

Harshana Rajakaruna

Strategic thinking and planned processes key to economic development

Jan 21 (FT) Higher education cannot be experienced, nor can it function in isolation from its relevant industries. We need to be aware of the country’s demand for resources and an effective workforce that will support industries to take the economy to the next level. Educators need to be responsive and relevant in the face of current demand so that economic expansion and development can take place. Given that, we cannot look at undergraduate or postgraduate more..

Drones: Missing in terrorism control?

Jan 21 (CT) Rooftop Security Scanners have come into play now that the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Authority of SL late last week lifted the ban it imposed on Drones, implemented by it after the Easter Day terrorist carnage. We've shifted over from one Govt to another these nine months on farcical probe after probe into the attacks when it's all so devilishly clear that the people behind the attacks have always been well known to the Indians, US and Saudi authorities. more..

Forensic audit report on Bond Scam will be tabled in Parliament: Speaker

Jan 21 (AD) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has said that the forensic audit report on the Central Bank bond scam will be tabled in the Parliament. Speaker announced this when the Parliament convened at 1.00 pm today (21). The forensic audit report on the CB bond scam was previously received by the Parliament and the Speaker has taken measures to abstain from releasing the aforesaid to MPs upon the instruction of the Attorney General. more..

BBC Sinhala accepts Azzam Ameen’s resignation

Jan 21 (NI) he BBC Sinhala service has accepted the resignation of its Colombo based correspondent, Azzam Ameen following a controversial telephone conversation which was leaked out in the public between Ameen and UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake last week. Ameen had tendered his resignation to BBC with effect from the Jan 1, but it had not been accepted by the BBC Sinhala Service at the time. more..

Sri Lanka has not shipped waste to Malaysia: CEA

Jan 21 (AD) Sri Lanka completely rebuffs the claims that it exports plastic waste to Malaysia, says the Central Environmental Authority (CEA). Malaysia’s Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin on Monday said that 150 containers of plastic waste from 13 countries, namely Sri Lanka, France, the UK, US, Canada, Spain, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, China, Portugal, Bangladesh and Lithuania, have been rerouted. more..

Video: Colombo HC to hear AG’s revision application against granting bail to Rajitha

Jan 21 (AD) The Colombo High Court has decided to hear the Attorney General’s revision application against granting bail to former Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, on the 5th of March. The former Minister was arrested late last month and remanded over the controversial white van press conference organized by him in November, but he continued to receive treatment at the hospital. more..

Tax payer to bear unemployable graduates burden from March

Jan 21 (EN) Sri Lanka will start recruiting unemployable graduates to the state service from March 1, though how many will be recruited this year has not been revealed. “We will start giving these jobs before March 1,” State Minister Shehan Semasinghe said. “It is the intention of the Prez and PM to give state jobs to unemployed graduates.” Critics say unemployed graduates represent a crisis in the tax-payer funded more..

Prez urged to ensure estate workers get wage increase

Jan 21 (DM) The govt must immediately expose the high profits made by the plantation companies and inform the public that they could easily give their workers a daily basic salary of Rs. 1,000, the 1000 Movement, a collective of unions and civil society activists, said. Chinthaka Rajapakshe, Moderator of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) said that the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) more..