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Presidential term is only 5 years: Legal expert

Feb 18 (FT) The new Constitution was one of two key promises made by President Maithripala Sirisena in the run up to the 8 Jan 2015 polls. The SLFP, too, promised the same in the party’s General Election campaign in August that year. However, the SLFP appears to be shying away from seeking expert advice on this regard and, instead, opting for lessons in economic. That’s the message conveyed when SLFPers met more..

Prices of 38 cataract lenses regulated

Feb 18 (DN) The prices of 38 varieties of eye lenses (involving 38 private companies) have been regulated and as a result the prices have been reduced in large scales, offering a huge relief to the people. The price of the entire package of eye lens has been reduced. Accordingly, it is expected that the prices of eye surgeries too will go down, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said that prices have been reduced from Rs. 26,900 to more..

NARA to investigate complaints

Feb 18 (DN) National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) has been asked to investigate whether the hot water pumped out of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant and into the sea is affecting marine life in the area. Environmental groups and the fisher community have complained to Fisheries Ministry about the damage caused by the hot water from Norochcholai & asked that NARA investigate more..

Reusable bags diktat doubles plastic imports

Feb 18 (ST) Environmentalists and industrialists last week claimed that the govt’s strategy to reduce the heavy use of polythene used by the public by dictating the production of thicker, reusable bags. In fact, thicker bags will produce more plastic waste in the environment and require more resin. Various types of resin are used to make packaging. They said the dormant 2007 legislation that was revived in January 2016 more..

Political parallels between SL-TN

Feb 18 (DM) The astounding rapidity in the turn of events taking place in the southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu after the death of the State’s Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram does not allow anybody to surmise as to what is going to happen next. However, now that V.K. Sasikala, the confidante of Jayalalithaa had been sentenced to four years in jail in the verdict of a disproportionate assets case, the situation is likely to calm down soon. Recent events took place in the State more..

Let's renew our commitment to social justice

Feb 18 (DM) Monday, Feb 20 is World Day of Social Justice on the theme, Preventing Conflict and Sustaining Peace Through Decent Work. For Sri Lanka’s National Govt it is a day of deep significance because restoring social justice by creating a just society was the key promise when it won an historic victory on Jan 8, 2015. In the economic strategy outline for this year, the Govt says it will pursue a process of sustainable development that will be eco-friendly more..

Ranawaka stands his ground against PCs intruding into UDA powers

Feb 18 (Island) Stern legal action would be taken against illegal and unauthorised constructions countrywide from June, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. During the launch of the construction of an entertainment centre at Waters Edge Rajagiriya on Thursday, Minister said around 1800 illegal and unauthorised constructions in Colombo City alone had been identified by a survey conducted by his Ministry. more..

Progress is being made to stop corruption: Survey

Feb 18 (FT) The latest monthly poll conducted by research firm Kantar TNS, for business magazine LMD, reveals that 50% of the people say progress is being made to stop corruption. Respondents back up this claim by stating that officials are being assigned to act to identify corruption and take necessary action, alongside the establishment of the FCID and moves to strengthen institutes working to protect the law. However, 45% oppose this view, while the rest (5%) are unsure. more..

Indian authorities seize pregnancy termination tablets being smuggled to SL

Feb 18 (Hindu) Sleuths of Rameswaram Customs Preventïve Unit have seized about 1.88 lakh tablets, mostly pain killer and pregnancy termination tablets loaded in a country boat for smuggling to Sri Lanka via the sea route on Friday. Acting on a tip off and on the direction of Assistant Commissioner of Customs Vijayakumar, a special team seized the tablets found in nine packs and kept in six travel bags in the boat at the Mundhalmunai seashore, near Pamban. more..

Prez admits severe criticism of recent HC appointment justified

Feb 18 (Island) Former Law Professor G.L. Peiris said that yahapalana govt owed an explanation to the public regarding the controversial appointment of Ramanathan Kannan as a High Court judge. Kannan functions as HC judge of Civil Appellate Court, Jaffna. Matale-born Kannan of the private bar in Batticaloa received his appointment early this month. Kannan had served Attorney General’s Department for a decade more..

PM mulls code of conduct for ships

Feb 18 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe delivering the keynote address at the Deakin University Law Faculty on Thursday. PM said Sri Lanka is willing to take a lead role in organising a conference to bring together all parties concerned to ensure freedom of navigation and peace in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). PM said the best way to solve the issues in the IOR would be to formulate a code of conduct for naval ships operating in the region. The lecture held at the Federal Square in Melbourne, more..

Slow start for manufacturing, services in Jan

Feb 18 (FT) The country’s manufacturing and services sector have had a slow start in the New Year with a key index showing marginal decline in January. Manufacturing Sector Purchasing Managers Index  (PMI) has  recorded an index value of 56.2 in January, down by 2.1 index points compared to Dec 2016. “The deceleration in PMI indicate that manufacturing activities expanded at a moderate pace in Jan 2017 largely attributable to post seasonal realignment of business plans more..

I am the first President who declared asset to the country: President

Feb 18 (PSL) President Sirisena says he is the only President who declared asset to the country. “If the politicians and govt officers openly fulfill their responsibility no problem will arise. That example should come from the top”, he said. President was speaking at the ceremony to inaugurate Right to Information Act held at Temple Trees. “There was no demand for me to present my asset statement. But I did it last 2 years”, more..

Foundation of Goodness Empowerment Centre opens in Mathagal, Jaffna

Feb 18 (DN) Here is a reconciliation story that makes a difference. When Rajiv and Kiran Radhakrishnan in the UK offered their ancestral property inheritance to be gifted for the community to benefit, after having followed closely the Foundation for Goodness humanitarian endeavors it resulted in the opening of Foundation of Goodness’ 7th Village Heartbeat Project Empowerment Centre in Mathagal, Jaffna. This is the kind of example that we need to showcase and bear testimony to more..

New honorary consul for Sri Lanka in Hawai

Feb 18 (SLE) At a well-attended ceremony at the Pacific Club of Hawaii, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam extended a warm welcome to Bede Dhammika Cooray as the new Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka for the state of Hawaii. The presentation of the commission of appointment to the new Honorary Consul was preceded by a celebration to commemorate 69th Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka with the participation of senior representatives of Hawaiian administration, more..

4 anti-SAITM vehicle parades paralyse Fort

Feb 18 (Island) Heavy traffic jam created in the Colombo Fort area yesterday due to four separate vehicle parades organised by university students reached Colombo demanding the government to abolish or take over SAITM. Convener of the IUSF, the organising body of the protesting vehicle parade, Lahiru Weerasekera told The Island they started the vehicle parades on Feb. 15 and reached Colombo yesterday. more..

Sri Lankan Dance Academy of NY

Feb 18 (RTD) In recent years, the Tompkinsville neighborhood of Staten Island has earned the moniker Little Sri Lanka, in honor of the vibrant immigrant community that has developed in this New York City borough since the first Sri Lankan family arrived in the late 1960s. Now numbering about 5,000 people, this is believed to be the largest Sri Lankan enclave in the United States, attracting crowds to its excellent restaurants and, more recently, receiving enthusiastic notice for more..

Women's WC Qualifier: South Africa beat SL

Feb 18 (ICC) The Sri Lanka baila was vigorous, the dancing cheeky, the drums merry. But where the home team could have embraced that carefree attitude, it paid the price for poor shot selection and squandering a solid start. On the 35th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s first day of Test cricket, on the same ground where Arjuna Ranatunga and Somachandra de Silva took on the likes of Graham Gooch and David Gower, the women’s team couldn’t prevent a nine-wicket loss at the hands of South Africa. more..

FR case against PM dismissed

Feb 18 (CT) Supreme Court upheld the preliminary objections raised by President's Counsel, Kanag Iswaran and Deputy Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratna and dismissed a Fundamental Rights Application filed against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Bench comprised Justices, Priyasath Dep, Upali Abeyratna and Anil Goonaratna. Nagananda Kodituwakku had filed this application citing the AG, PM and Speaker as respondents more..

Sri Lanka ‘A’ collapse on day one

Feb 18 (Island) Sri Lanka ‘A’ top order collapsed and were 29 for four at stumps on day one of the first unofficial Test against England ‘A’ at Pallekele International Stadium yesterday. After the tourists were bowled out for 316, Sri Lanka ‘A’ innings was in total disarray as three wickets fell for 12 runs and Roshen Silva was last man out in what was the last ball of the day. The hosts are trailing England ‘A’ by 287 runs. Surprisingly in form batsman Ron Chandraguptha was left out more..

NITF gets reinsurance cover for agriculture

Feb 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s National Insurance Trust Fund says they have procured a reinsurance program for its agriculture insurance schemes. “This reinsurance programme will provide support to agricultural insurance schemes funded by NITF including the recently launched National Agricultural Loan Protection Scheme,” NITF said. “The cover has been arranged on a stop loss basis which is typically the method adopted to obtain reinsurance for agricultural insurance.” more..

CBK seeks sacking of party dissidents

Feb 18 (EN) Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga has called for the immediate sacking of dissidents within her SLFP in a bid to neutralise the Rajapaksa faction. She said the Joint Opposition which is rallying behind former president Rajapaksa was splitting the SLFP and should be stopped. "I sacked many people for much less than this (supporting another party) when I was the president of the party," more..

J L Morisons to build USD13.5mn drug manufacturing plant

Feb 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s J L Morison Son and Jones (Ceylon) has resolved to make an investment of US$ 13.5 million US in constructing a new pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. The company said that this research and manufacturing facility will be located within the SLINTEC Nano Technology Park in Pitipana, Homagama. “The proposed plant will significantly enhance the manufacturing capacity of the company while complying with global regulatory standards,” the company said. more..

Pressure mounts on Sri Lanka to remove anti-LGBTQ laws as part of EU trade deal

Feb 18 (HRC) Efforts to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity in Sri Lanka, an island state off the southern coast of India, appear to be gaining steam as the country negotiates a preferential trade deal with the EU. Sri Lanka is one of 72 countries around the world that criminalize same-sex acts. Signing this kind of trade agreement with EU generally requires compliance with certain human rights conditions, such as removing laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people. more..

Sweet and sour indo-china investment menu

Feb 18 (NS) In the wake of massive Chinese investments in Malaysia and other South Asian countries, analysts have said India would want to scramble towards possibilities in Sri Lanka. While China has placed its money bags on the table to invest in Sri Lanka, it has said that fast tracking projects on the part of Sri Lanka would encourage future investors. Delivering the 13th Sujatha Jayawardena Memorial Oration more..

Unravelling SAITM conundrum

Feb 18 (DN) The medical degree of SAITM continues to be in the centre of controversy. Recent decision of the Court of Appeal legalizing the degree has given a new impetus to the agitation against SAITM as well as encouraged the SAITM authorities to aggressively pursue their own agenda. Though several key ministers are vociferously stating that the issue is finally settled with the Court verdict and nothing further could be done by any one or any organisation, agitation is unlikely to wane off. more..

HNB becomes first bank to launch POS acceptance of UnionPay cards

Feb 18 (Island) HNB announced a new partnership with UnionPay International, to accept card payments from one of the largest payment networks in the world. A press release said: Through the new agreement, Sri Lankan merchants who operate HNB Point-of-Sales (POS) devices will now be able to accept UnionPay cards, empowering businesses across the island – particularly with regard to the formal and informal hotel sector, traditional crafts, jewelry and restaurants more..

PM Modi to renew links with Buddhism during his visit to Sri Lanka in May

Feb 18 (ENS) Indian PM Narendra Modi will be renewing his links with Buddhism when he visits Sri Lanka as one of the chief guests at the United Nations Vesak Festival to be held here from May 11 to 13. Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana, Wijayadasa Rajapakshe, said on Friday that several heads of govt and state have been invited for the landmark event recognized by the UN, and that Modi has confirmed his participation. more..

EX-CO fails to reach decision

Feb 18 (CT) An emergency Executive Committee Meeting summoned by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) ended its deliberations without reaching any decisions, thus preventing the FFSL from convening its AGM. EXCO meeting was conducted on Wednesday and the previous meeting was held in Nov 2016. Executive Committee of the FFSL had not been able to decide on the number of votes to be allocated to the respective football leagues & left without reaching any decisions. more..

The problem of circumventing Geneva

Feb 18 (Island) In a mood of heady euphoria following on the election victories in 2015 the Govt went to the extent of co-sponsoring a Resolution at the UNHRC that according to the Pathfinder Foundation had an unprecedented 23 introductory paragraphs that set the stage for 20 operational paragraphs. Govt has subsequently found, unsurprisingly, that it is difficult to implement some of the massive commitments it has made. In some cases, it might even be impossible to do so. more..

Thailand, Sri Lanka prepare trade pact

Feb 18 (PB) Thailand and Sri Lanka are set to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) later this year, aiming to triple bilateral trade to US$ 1.5 billion over the next five years. Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak, who met with SL minister Malik Samarawickrama, yesterday said the two countries aimed to sign the FTA this August, when he is scheduled to lead Thai investors to visit Sri Lanka. Mr Somkid said he also proposed that more..

Poetry gets teacher in trouble

Feb 18 (SL) A group of bureaucrats at the Education Ministry have been accused of violating a school teacher’s freedom of expression. A special investigation has been launched by the Ministry of Education against a school teacher for writing poems. Sources said that it seems that the top brass of the Education Ministry has been hurt by the words of these poems. Hence they have declared an all-out war against the school teacher, both to suppress him and his poetic skills. more..

Dissecting the reasons for low International ranking of Sri Lankan state universities

Feb 18 (CT) Sri Lankan Universities according to the Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka is ranked as illustrated in the table below. It is an extremely pathetic situation particularly since Sri Lanka is now a middle income country. Lets face it! Our universities suck! Private universities with lower quality and tuition culture purport to be ranked higher than state universities because they are affiliated with a top 500 international universities. State universities are publicly funded more..


Connecting Sri Lanka: EFL Express opens second center in Galle

Feb 18 (AT) EFL Express opened its second service center in Galle this month. The domestic logistics provider has been based in Colombo since it was founded a year ago, and with this expansion hopes to bring its expertise to another key strategic location in the country. EFL Express is a subsidiary of ExpoLanka Freight, a leading logistics service provider in the region. EFL is a prominent logistics company and one of the largest freight forwarders in Asia, with operations in 18 countries more..

Sumptuous temple trees lunch politely refused

Feb 18 (CT) Minister Wijewardene while succeeding in ending the fast unto death had assured those who engaged in the Vavuniya hunger strike that he would expedite the process for them to seek justice. On his return to Colombo the minister arranged a high profile meeting between the representatives of the Association of Involuntarily Disappeared Persons and Ministers Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, D.M. Swaminathan, Sagala Ratnayake and IGP Pujith Jayasundara. more..