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WHO gives blessings to Sri Lanka’s first Consumer Protection Lab

Feb 20 (FT) The rallying call for Sri Lanka’s much-needed Consumer Product Test Lab received a sudden boost when the specialised agency for public health across the world threw its support behind the initiative on 16 Feb. “This will assure the speed and high quality of market product testing and lab reports of Sri Lanka’s CAA,” said WHO Representative in SL Dr. Jacob Kumaresan on 16 Feb in Colombo, while in discussion with more..

SL’s gem exports to China set to increase

Feb 20 (Island) In the wake of the Free Trade Agreement between China & Sri Lanka to be finalized in 2017 and of the recently signed Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) & Guangdong Gems and Jade Exchange (GDGJE), it’s on the cards that Sri Lankan gem exports to China, the world’s largest gem importer enjoying the lion’s share, that is, 76.8% of the world gem market - In financial terms, China’s gem imports more..

Govt has not misused even a cent: Thalatha

Feb 20 (Island) Minister Thalatha Athukorale recently said that the leader of the NFF and UPFA Colombo District MP Wimal Weerawansa is in remand prison because he is suspected of misusing state property. Addressing the masses at the opening of the Vilgamuwa Model Village in Matale she said when the govt is getting rid of corruption certain elements charged with corruption get hurt and feel very bad about it. She said this govt had not misused a cent from state funds. more..

Tamil factionalism a key factor in Kepapilavu, Vavuniya agitations

Feb 20 (ENS) Factionalism within the multi-party TNA has been at the root of the on-going agitations in Kepapilavu and Puthukudiyiruppu in Mullaitivu district and the just concluded stir on the issue of disappearances in Vavuniya. Vavuniya agitation was directed by the EPRLF led by Suresh Premachandran and Sivasakthi Anandan against the current leaders of TNA, especially M.A. Sumanthiran and Charles Nirmalanathan of the ITAK, and more..

Blame it on others: Methodology to re-pay debt taken by previous govt: PM

Feb 20 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe says that the Govt is implementing a methodology to re-pay the huge debt taken by the previous Govt. PM mentioned this while vesting in the public of a housing project built for the people affected by the landslides of Arananayaka Saama Sara Mountain The housing project was built with the assistant of Rhyno Roofing Products Company for the people in Elangapitiya and surrounding villages, affected by landslides of Saamasara Mountain. more..

'Sri Lanka in no rush to sell sovereign bond'

Feb 20 (EN) Sri Lanka is in no rush to sell a sovereign bond, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said, but cabinet approval was obtained to raise up to US$ 1.5 billion in sovereign bonds this year. He said after getting cabinet approval, the next step was to do road shows to update investors. "We just got the (cabinet) approval to do so," Karunanayake said.  "We are not running after it, we will see what the best position is to do so." He said Fitch Ratings has upgraded more..

Asela 84* caps stunning series win for SL

Feb 20 (CI) Asela Gunaratne orchestrated a remarkable heist to seal the T20 series for Sri Lanka with a match to play, stealing an outrageous victory over Australia in the first international match ever played at Geelong's Kardinia Park. For the second time in three days, Sri Lanka reached their target from the final ball of their chase, but whereas at the MCG they had needed only 18 off the last three overs, here they needed 48. more..

Hard to defend against Gunaratne: Finch

Feb 20 (CI) Sixteen off the last over would be a daunting enough challenge for any batsman in a Twenty20 chase. Sixteen an over for the final three overs is something else entirely. And yet Australia's captain, Aaron Finch, said he felt that while Asela Gunaratne remained at the crease, Sri Lanka still had a chance of achieving their goal, an assessment that turned out to be accurate, to the delight of thousands of Sri Lankan fans at Geelong's Kardinia Oval. more..

Atapattu to the fore as SL seal WC spot

Feb 20 (Island) Sri Lanka women are through to the ICC Women’s World up in England and Wales later this year as Chamari Atapattu guided her team with a fantastic batting display against Bangladesh at NCC yesterday. Atapattu scored 84 off 114 deliveries with eight fours and a six. Bangladesh, who needed a big win if they wanted to pip Sri Lanka to the last available spot for the World Cup, showed the stomach for a fight. But in the end, it mattered little as a sensible performance more..

Harry distills perfect blend for Sri Lanka

Feb 20 (FT) Outspoken business tycoon Harry Jayawardena on Saturday distilled a perfect blend for the future success of SL via privatisation of certain loss-making state enterprises that continue to be beset by political interference and mismanagement. The frank and proven advice was shared at the 25th anniversary celebrations of Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka (DCSL), which Jayawardena acquired as State Distilleries more..

Lions strike after setting Sri Lanka A 365

Feb 20 (CI) England Lions set an imposing target and then took two early wickets on a rain-interrupted third day of the first unofficial Test with SL A. Having recovered from 85 for 6 to post 215, Tom Curran removed Dimuth Karunaratne with the first ball of the 4th innings and Toby Jones had Sandun Weerakkody, SL A's top-scorer first time around, lbw for 16. Tom Curran and his brother Sam had played a central role with the bat, too, having extended their 7th-wicket partnership to 62. more..

SriLankan Airlines: Pilots vote Yes Ffor industrial action

Feb 20 (CT) Members of the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka have voted in favour of going in for industrial action if their request for a meeting with their Chairman, Board of Directors and Minister of Public Enterprise regarding the alleged Unacceptable conduct of the Senior Management is not been granted. The vote ending yesterday was agreed to be conducted through SMS by its members when they met on the 16th of February 2017 at an emergency meeting. more..

Tears, threats, anger: Drive mixed emotions on SAITM issue

Feb 20 (SO) In 2009, the South Asian Institute of Technology & Medicine started out as a twin-program, with one-half of its medical course conducted locally, and the rest abroad via a Russian university affiliated to the Institute. Today, the green fee levying private medical college at Malabe founded by Dr Neville Fernando, a pioneer in private medical education in SL, has turned into a simmering ground of confusion, anger, rage. more..

Sri Lanka's perfect record in Australia

Feb 20 (CI) 36: Runs Sri Lanka needed off the last two overs, which they chased down, the most by any team. Australia needed 34 off the last two overs against Pakistan in the 2010 World T20 and pulled off a similar heist. 411.11: Asela Gunaratne's strike rate of his last nine balls. He smashed 37 runs, including three fours and four sixes. He had scored 47 off his first 37 balls with three fours and a six. 1: Number of higher scores than Gunaratne's 84 not out by a batsman at No.5 or lower more..

Dunk sets the stage alight

Feb 20 (CI) Only one cap was presented, but there were three debuts in this match. Fast bowler Jhye Richardson was playing his first match for Australia in any format, umpire Sam Nogajski was standing in his first international fixture, and Geelong's Kardinia Park was making its maiden appearance as an international venue. And the results? Mixed. Richardson bowled with impressive pace and claimed a wicket with his third ball. Nogajski was at the centre of a strange moment when more..

'It was like we were playing in Sri Lanka'

Feb 20 (CI) A partisan Melbourne crowd played its part in Sri Lanka's exquisite series victory, Asela Gunaratne said after his unbeaten knock of 84 from 46 balls in only his sixth T20 international propelled Sri Lanka to their 174 target in Geelong. Partisan because although the first two T20s were ostensibly away matches, Sri Lanka's limited-overs games in Melbourne have long attracted booming support from large SL population in the city. more..

Foster reconciliation, abandon discrimination

Feb 20 (Island) There are many instances where the constructive attempts supported and much publicized by the govt in power today are overshadowed by many practically disruptive and unsettling actions of others. The President, PM and some members of the Govt may be launching and promoting a process of reconciliation by calling upon all the citizens of Sri Lanka to a renewed awareness of justice and exhorting and encouraging all to re-establish the bonds of fraternity and more..

Pretender to Jaya’s corrupt throne, Sasi’s power lust jailed for ten years

Feb 20 (ST) Things nearly went a little too far in the manner succession takes place in the Asian region when a charismatic leader bids the world the last farewell. Lanka started the trend first when Sirimavo Bandaranaike was called from her Rosmead Place residence to Temple Trees to assume the premiership following the assassination of her husband SWRD. India went a step further when upon the death of her PM Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter Indira seamlessly stepped into his more..


Win over Australia put bad dreams behind

Feb 20 (CT) Bad dreams sometimes can haunt you though some of them could just disappear with a new day. Then a brand new reality can dawn on you giving you hope and expectations for the future. The recent cricket played by the Sri Lankan National team could be described in such a manner. After a forgettable and poor tour of South Africa, the team has started off the short tour of Australia with a bang winning the first T20 game in a series of three. It may be still early days with two games to go more..

Protests proliferating by the day

Feb 20 (SO) As announced on a news telecast on a TV channel, the number of protests that day matched its date -15th. The announcer said, there were more than 15 protests in various locations across the length and breadth of the island – Anuradhapura, Vavuniya, Peradeniya and Colombo of course. Inevitably, one protest was by university students; the others were by various groups, including disabled soldiers and pensioners. Appropriately, yet coincidentally, the program more..

'I like to talk to diehard Sinhala chauvinists'

Feb 20 (CT) Nothern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran said, " We need to have the North and East merged to avoid Sinhalisation of the North and East. Today Sinhalisation is taking place at a rapid rate". Q: The second of the Eluga Thamil series was held in Batticaloa recently. People say it's the name that is different from Pongu Thamil that was hosted by the Tigers. Isn't it the same concept; awakening the Tamils to fight for a cause? more..

Editorial: CID’s Nelsonian eye

Feb 20 (Island) The CID has woken up like Rip Van Winkle. It has arrested three military intelligence personnel including a major over the abduction of the then Associate Editor of The Nation newspaper, Keith Noyahr, way back in May 2008. The suspects have been remanded. We have been urging the CID, all these years, to seek the assistance of Noyahr, who fled to Australia with his family following his abduction, to nab those responsible for harming journalists because more..

The crisis of constitution-making 

Feb 20 (CT) Sri Lanka needs constitutional change but not a change of Constitution. A little Political Economy and a touch of class can help in comprehending what’s going on and why. Why a new Constitution/Referendum while an economic crisis looms? Because the economic crisis stems from the same mindset and agenda as the drive for a new constitution. Both originate in the neoliberal globalization project of the current UNP leadership, which necessitates weakening of the state more..

I believe in cooperative politics: Karuna

Feb 20 (CT) Former Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, alias Karuna Amman said: "I strongly believed that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would solve the issues of the North and East people. If the TNA had joined hands with the govt at that moment, we would have already resolved many issues." He further said, "Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan said recently that former President Rajapaksa should join more..

The profound impact of caste in contemporary Sri Lanka

Feb 20 (CT) It is a basic tenet of social sciences that a person’s environment has a profound impact on every aspect of their social behaviour, as well as the overall social psyche. When discussing the maladies that affect Sri Lanka, the main topic is usually the failure of politicians and other responsible parties to competently run a functioning system under the legislative, executive and judicial branches. There is no doubt that there have been catastrophic failures in all these aspects. more..

The Bar must not get involved in judicial appointments

Feb 20 (ST) Amidst the welter of conflicting reports over the recent appointment of a Batticoloa lawyer as a Northern High Court judge by President Maithripala Sirisena, certain facts are crystal clear. First, the involvement of the unofficial (private) Bar in judicial appointments is not a healthy precedent in any sense of the word. The reasons are obvious, including the danger of perception that such appointees may be seen as being beholden to particular interests of the Bar more..

Boat carrying a group of people sinks off Katukurunda coast: 10 killed

Feb 19 (AD) At least ten persons were killed and several others went missing after a boat carrying a group of people capsized in sea off Katukurunda coast on Sunday. The police said the remains of the deceased have been taken to the Nagoda hospital. A search operation is underway with the assistance from the Navy and Sri Lanka Air Force to locate the missing persons. The Navy has deployed several boats, while an Air Force more..

Enforced disappearance: Bill holds superiors also accountable for the crime

Feb 19 (ST) The Bill, to be enacted shortly, to give effect to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, provides for the sanctioning of superiors who, by commission or omission, are party to such crimes. The Law also provides for the extradition of a person, including those holding citizenship of other countries with which Sri Lanka has extradition treaties and more..

Sri Lanka seeks to reverse migrant minimum wage: report

Feb 19 (EN) Sri Lanka's Foreign Employment Ministry has sought permission from the cabinet of ministers to reverse a minimum wage which can workers, particularly less skilled ones, from getting jobs, a media report said. The deadly minimum wage of 450 dollars for skilled workers and 350 dollars for unskilled workers was mandated by the budget. Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment has issued a circular to more..

Irregular appointment of HC judge threatens judiciary’s independence: MR

Feb 19 (AD) It is essential to abide by the accepted practice in making judicial appointments so as to safeguard the independence of the judiciary, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. Issuing a statement he alleged that this is a govt that started off by terrorising the entire judiciary by sacking the then Chief Justice with just a chit from the President’s Office with the connivance of certain office bearers of the BASL. more..

Cash strapped SLC on spending spree

Feb 19 (SL) Cash strapped SLC has a Marketing and Public Relation Divisions (SLC) and pays high salaries to the officials. It has been accused of spending several millions of rupees to pay an advertising company and an event management company to organize last week’s limited overs domestic cricket tournament launching ceremony. It is alleged that one of these two companies is owned by a sibling of more..

Foreign job industry at stake

Feb 19 (ST) With a significant decrease in the number of Sri Lankans going overseas for jobs, the Foreign Employment Ministry is to seek Cabinet approval to reverse a budget decision on a minimum salary for skilled and unskilled Sri Lankan workers, a senior official said. A Cabinet paper was being submitted by Minister Thalatha Athukorala, showing possible repercussions on SL’s economy if this decision was implemented. more..

Rice at a price

Feb 19 (CT) The era of King Parakaramabahu the Great was a time Lanka was self-sufficient in rice. Sri Lanka was then considered the Rice bowl of the East. Later, the place was replaced by other cash crops such as tea, rubber and coconut. Minister S.B. Dissanayake said Sri Lanka was self-sufficient in terms of rice back in 2003 after the Sinhala kings. He was the then Minister of Agriculture. more..

SAITM still tossed on a stormy sea

Feb 19 (CT) Embroiled in bitter controversy for over two years, the rigmarole pertaining to the South SAITM has reached its zenith leaving many disgruntled students and faculty members in its wake. The city of Colombo was rampant with protests by the IUSF demanding SAITM to be closed down. The Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has denied registration of degrees awarded by SAITM and the veracity of more..

'Rajapaksas offered huge bribes to stifle criminal investigations by FCID'

Feb 19 (Island) Some members of former President Rajapaksa’s family facing criminal allegations, have been accused of  offering huge bribes to the FCID. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who now heads Office For National Unity and Reconciliation, said that some officers of the FCID had complained of attempts  by agents  of the Rajapaksa family of having attempted to bribe them with big sums of money, but more..