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Amnesty Int’l concerned over alleged harassment of journalists, activists

Jan 16 (RN) Expressing concern over reports of alleged attacks on journalists and rights activists in Sri Lanka, Amnesty International requested the govt today to respect free speech, instruct law enforcement to end alleged intimidation tactics and investigate recorded cases of harassment. “Amnesty International is concerned by multiple reports of harassment, intimidation and attacks on human rights organisations, more..

UK Labour Party Chief concerned SL not implementing UN resolution

Jan 16 (DM) Leader of the UK's Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said he was deeply concerned that the new government of Sri Lanka has said it would not implement the vital UN resolution on accountability, justice and reconciliation. In a video tweeted wishing the Tamil community in view of Thai Pongal on Wednesday, Mr. Corbyn said the Labour Party will always stand by the Tamil people, wherever they may be in their pursuit of true peace and justice. more..

Seychelles Maritime Academy renews agreement with Sri Lankan nautical college

Jan 16 (SNA) Colombo Int'l Nautical and Engineering College (CINEC) will continue to manage Seychelles Maritime Academy (SMA) following the renewal of an agreement on Tuesday. The third 3-year agreement was signed by the Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Jeanne Simeon, and the president of CINEC, Captain Ajith Peiris at the Ministry's headquarters. The two institutions first signed the first agreement in Sept 2013 which allowed more..

Massive trove of artifacts shipped from SL to Ripley’s Believe It or Not?

Jan 16 (LS) A massive trove of artifacts has been shipped to Ripley's Believe It or Not! — a company known for its unusual objects. The artifacts arrived by ship in Miami on May 15, 2019, and were then sent to Ripley's Orlando headquarters. The shipment, which consisted of three containers holding 125 artifacts, weighed a total of 43,155 pounds (19,575 kg), although that weight may include material more..

Coloma-an exquisite, elegant entry into sanitaryware

Jan 16 (Island) Coloma, a contemporary brand of stylishly crafted sanitaryware with cutting edge technology, was launched recently at a gala evening at the Lanka Tiles showroom in Nawala. Marketed exclusively by the Lanka Walltiles Group, a name trusted in Sri Lanka and the world over for more than 40 years, Coloma represents the next step in the evolution of sanitaryware. Speaking to a gathering of guests, which included some of Sri Lanka’s leading architects, developers and construction more..

Govt plans to re-open Kantale Sugar Factory

Jan 16 (AD) Measures will soon be taken to commence operations of the Kantale Sugar Factory, says State Minister Susantha Punchinilame. Decision to commence work at the factory was taken following discussions with the Plantation Industries Minister, Secretary to the Prez and the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, Punchinilame said. This would generate numerous employment opportunities as well as save the money spent on importing sugar, he pointed out. more..

Cabinet agrees to disband two units set up by last Govt

Jan 16 (FT) Cabinet approved a proposal to direct the Secretary to the Treasury to take measures to wind up the National Agency for Public-Private Partnership, which was set up by the previous Govt in 2017. Proposal by PM and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said that with the measures taken by the new Govt to amalgamate the workings of several agencies, there was no need for this unit to continue to operate. more..

Govt guarantees price control for rice, but no such luck for vegetable prices

Jan 16 (EN) State Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage offered a guarantee yesterday that the government will be able to control the price of rice in two weeks’ time, adding however that nothing can be done with regard to vegetable prices. Insisting that the biggest and only problem faced by the people is the sudden increase in the price of rice and vegetables, Aluthgamage said the govt is already expecting a big harvest from the Eastern Province once paddy harvesting begins more..

Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala interdicted

Jan 16 (AD) Judicial Services Commission has sent its recommendations to President on High Court Judge Gihan Pilapitiya as well. This too has been over involvement in phone coversations with MP Ranjan Ramanayake. As the Commission has no power to interdict a High Court judge, it has sent its recommendations to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in this manner. Baddegama Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala has been interdicted by the Judicial Services Commission. more..

Video: President on inspection at BIA

Jan 16 (AD) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa is currently on an inspection at the BIA in Katunayake. Reports said that the Prez has spent time speaking to the staff of the Katunayake Airport. This unannounced visit came after Prez’s surprise visit to Dept of Motor Traffic (RMV) Office in Werahera and Narahenpita Special Economic Centre last month and the recent unannounced inspection at the Colombo National Hospital. more..

GSEA SL seeks next generation of student entrepreneurs for 6th consecutive year

Jan 16 (FT) Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) has played an influential role in SL, enriching and empowering student entrepreneurs since 2015. Over the years, SL has produced three global finalists. This year marks the sixth consecutive year of the competition taking place locally. GSEA is a competition open to all undergraduates who have been running their own startup for six consecutive months and generated $500 or Rs. 90,000 in total revenue, or more..

MP govt to spend Rs 5 crore on construction of Sita Mata Temple in Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (IT) In what appears to be a balancing act, the Kamal Nath govt continues to forge its soft Hindutva out-reach while continuing its opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). After making budgetary provisions for setting up of the Ram Van Gaman Path (route taken by lord Ram during his exile) and model Gaushalas across the state, the Madhya Pradesh govt has now decided to finance renovation of Sita Mata Temple in SL. more..

Ranjangate: Police to question judges connected to sound clips

Jan 16 (RN) Police have received instructions to record statements from the three judges whose recorded phone conversations with Actor-politician Ranjan Ramanayake were released to the public, the Attorney General’s Department said today. AG Dappula de Livera instructed the Director of the Police Colombo Crimes Division to record statements from those judges without delay, department’s spokeswoman more..

UNP PS member apologises to Police officials

Jan 16 (DM) Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Sabah UNP member Dulakshi Fernando, who was earlier remanded on charges of obstructing the Police, after her sister was arrested for a traffic offense, apologised to the Police at the Marawila Magistrate's Court on Monday. On Aug 20 last year the police had stopped a young woman near the Cey-Nor junction in Wennappuwa for riding a motorcycle without a helmet. Within few minutes the PS member had arrived at the scene, more..

Two persons apprehended by Navy for transferring cannabis

Jan 16 (SLN) The Navy in coordination with the Police apprehended two persons who were transferring cannabis in Lahugala area on 14th January 2020. Accordingly, the SL Navy who is an active counterpart in National Mission of foaming a drug free country, in coordination with Police STF apprehended two persons with about 2kg of cannabis which was transporting for sale. The suspects who were on their way for selling the cannabis, on a motor bike, were searched more..

JVP Press Conference

Election year: Voters, please take note

Jan 16 (FT) The public is watching with dismay how the main political parties and the respective leaders have commenced canvassing for votes to get back to the Parliament. In this regard I would like to draw the attention of the general public to what we have witnessed over the last several months/years with regard to their actions and in particular their behavior within Parliament during this period. We saw in the electronic media how they behaved in the most disgraceful manner even going to more..

Strangers in the dark?

Jan 16 (CT) There comes a time at which a limb or portion of a person's body goes numbed with the need to satisfy one's self to deal with some pressing issues and yet, the issue remains sustained. This is common in today's scenario of global politics and especially so of geopolitical issues which have placed Sri Lanka in the precarious position of being that stranger in the dark who has to either suavely or deliberately manoeuvre the manner/manners in which leadership demands evasive more..

Video: Buddha heirloom returned to Sri Lanka by Hampshire family

Jan 16 (BBC) A Buddha statue from an important religious site has been returned to Sri Lanka, 100 years after it was gifted to a British man. Members of the Bell family have handed this statue down through the generations after archaeologist and explorer Harry Charles Purvis Bell, known as HCP Bell, was given the statue during a visit to a temple in the 19th century, while he was working in Sri Lanka. more..

IUSF pushing for abolition of attendance rule for Mahapola

Jan 16 (Island) Ven. Ratkarawwe Jinarathane Thera, Convenor of IUSF, said the existing rule that students should be present on 80% of the days when lectures are conducted to receive Mahapola Scholarship funds was unfair by students. Asked whether this issue had been taken up at the Jan 9 meeting with govt representatives at the Prez Secretariat, Ven. Jinarathane, who led the IUSF delegation, explained they were yet to reach more..

Sri Lanka to control foreign university placement offices after student deaths

Jan 16 (EN) Sri Lanka will introduce a regulatory framework for agencies that place students in foreign universities after three undergraduates who were studying in a foreign university died in Azerbaijan, minister Bandula Gunewardene said. Many students are forced to go abroad for higher studies because strict govt regulations have prevented the expansion of domestic private degree awarding institutes more..

Wijeyadasa's 22nd Amendment opportunistic: Gajanayake

Jan 16 (CT) National Coordinator of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), Manjula Gajanayake claimed that while MPs have the privilege of introducing Private Member Bills which have a people friendly impact and draws the citizenry's and legislature's attention towards a particular subject, MP Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe's 22nd Amendment Bill is a petty effort made in order to realise an opportunistic aspiration. more..

National Anthem in Tamil: More pressing issues at hand: PM

Jan 16 (CT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed that apart from singing the National Anthem in Tamil, the previous Govt had hardly done anything for the Tamils. He said thus when he met Tamil media personnel including publishers at his office yesterday where he responded to various questions raised on various issues. Elaborating further on singing the National Anthem in Tamil, he said that no decision had been taken on that more..

S&P revises Sri Lanka’s outlook to negative; ratings affirmed at ’B/B’

Jan 16 (FT) S&P Global Ratings has revised its outlook on the Sri Lanka sovereign credit rating to negative from stable, affirming 'B' long-term and 'B' short-term foreign and local currency credit ratings on Sri Lanka. The transfer and convertibility assessment is affirmed at B. The negative outlook reflects S&P’s view that Sri Lanka's fiscal trajectory over the next two to three years could deviate from a fiscal consolidation path. more..

Hollywood celebs wax lyrical on Sri Lanka in big boost to tourism

Jan 16 (EN) A host of Hollywood celebrities visited Sri Lanka over the past week, poised to give the island’s tourism industry, currently recovering from the Easter Sunday terror attack, a major boost. Social media networks Twitter and Instagram were abuzz with photos being shared of Hollywood stars Margot Robbie, Melissa Benoist and Bill Skarsgard visiting Sri Lanka over the past week. Melissa Benoist, who currently plays more..

Sri Lanka plantations could cover wage hike with economic relief package: Minister

Jan 16 (EN) Sri Lanka’s plantations firms will be given benefits in the form of free fertilizer, tax cuts and credit support, which would give space for them to give salary hike decreed by Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa workers, co-cabinet spokesman Ramesh Pathirana said. “We are hopeful that they should be able to pay these wages because we have provided a economic relief package,” Minister Pathirana said. more..

Wildlife tourism: Is Sri Lanka doing it right?

Jan 16 (TM) Wildlife tourism is booming globally, with one study conducted in 2015 showing that the industry accounts to around 20-40% of global tourism. Further emphasising this fact, 2019 wildlife tourism statistics estimates that the industry has directly contributed $ 120.1billion to global GDP, with around 12 million trips happening each year. The term wildlife tourism is defined as the sector in tourism which brings in tourists with more..

‘Don’t panic, no need for special measures’

Jan 16 (ST) The mystery virus in China’s Wuhan area has been identified this week as a novel or new coronavirus, as SL health authorities urged the people not to panic or be alarmed as there seems to be no human-to-human transmission so far. The WHO has not sent out any alerts for special precautions over the pneumonia in Wuhan. SL is following all the usual protocols such as screening any traveller with fever who is referred to more..

What is your preference, citizen: Pillow - talk or public concerns ?

Jan 16 (DM) Should public figures have private lives? This is probably a question that has been asked and answered countless times across time and space. A related question would be can public figures have private lives? Again an old question but one to which the possible response has and is becoming increasingly muted courtesy technological innovation and surveillance complexities that are hard to notice and even harder to keep track of. It is not the case that people didn’t know about more..

Lose your integrity and you lose it all

Jan 16 (DM) The audio clips recovered from actor-turned politician, UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake`s home at Madiwela have opened as it were the proverbial can of worms if not having stirred a hornet’s nest, implicating various government officials including some in the Judiciary and the Police Department. These controversial audio clips containing recordings of conversations between MP Ramanayake and a retired female Judge about her promotion and with top CID officers on more..

Payments to Chairpersons and Boards of Directors of State entities slashed

Jan 16 (FT) The Presidential Secretariat has issued a circular limiting the monthly allowance paid to Chairpersons of State institutions to Rs. 100,000 and the allowance for members of the Board of Directors to Rs. 25,000. In the circular addressed to all Secretaries to Ministries and State Ministries, Chief Secretaries, Secretaries to Governors, Heads of Departments and Statutory Organisations, the Secretary to the President more..

Video: Remains of three students who died in Azerbaijan arrive in Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (AD) The remains of the three SL female students, who died of smoke inhalation in Azerbaijan, have been brought to the island this morning (15). The bodies were airlifted on Qatar Airways to arrive at BIA at around 9.15 a.m. today. The families of the deceased students had arrived at BIA to receive the remains. SL envoys in Doha and Tehran were in coordination with the Foreign Ministry of SL in expediting the repatriation of the remains of 3 SL students at state expense. more..

Chief Justice to be relieved of duties on Mahapola Trust Fund

Jan 16 (Island) Cabinet has decided to amend laws to relieve the Chief Justice of his duties on the Board of Trustees, which administers the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund. Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that the Chief Justice as well as the Committee on Public Enterprises had proposed that the former should not be a member of the Mahapola Trust Fund Board of Trustees, since it would impinge on his independence, if called upon to determine a case pertaining to the Fund. more..

'No major changes at today’s meeting'

Jan 16 (DM) UNP MP Vajira Abeywardene said the party's parliamentary group meeting to be held today will not result in any significant changes with Ranil Wickremesinghe continuing to remain as party leader. He told a news conference that according to the UNP constitution, the parliamentary group had no power to change the party leadership. “It could only be done at a party convention,” he said more..

Video: Ranil must step down from party leadership: Fonseka

Jan 16 (AD) UNP MP Sarath Fonseka says Ranil Wickremesinghe must step down from party leadership. MP said Wickremesinghe has held the position for 25 years now, and a very small faction of the party is of the that the former Premier should continue to be the UNP’s leader. MP Fonseka suggests that as an alternative, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa must ascend to the party leadership. In the meantime, UNP MP Vajira Abeywardana pointed out that more..

Drastic measures if Sajith not given leadership today: UNP MP

Jan 16 (DN) While noting that today’s meeting to decide on the UNP Leadership was critical to the party, MP Nalin Bandara said that the group supporting Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa will take drastic measures if the UNP Deputy Leader is not given the party leadership. “A majority of UNP Parliamentary Group wants Sajith Premadasa to lead the party. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s name has also been mentioned. Speaker Jayasuriya should have been given the opportunity in 2015. more..