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Sri Lanka’s Human Rights situation will come under the microscope at UNHRC

Feb 20 (EN) A resolution before the UNHRC this week is expressing serious concern over emerging trends over the last year which represents a clear early warning sign of a deteriorating human rights situation in SL. The resolution brought forward by the so-called Core Group of countries comprising Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Malawi and Montenegro said in a statement that the “accelerating militarization more..

Coronavirus: 890 more patients regain health

Feb 20 (AD) The total count of coronavirus recoveries reported in SL has exceeded 73,000 today, the Ministry of Health confirmed. With 890 more patients being discharged from hospitals following complete recovery from the virus, the total number of recoveries recorded in SL reached 73,456. Majority of the recoveries were reported from Bingiriya Treatment Centre (78), Embilipitiya Treatment Centre (55), Kahawatte Treatment Centre (55), Panideniya Treatment Centre (50), more..

Golden opportunity missed: Right of reply

Feb 20 (FT) An article written by me and published in the Daily FT of 16 January has elicited a rather emotional response from the Sampath Bank Retired Executives Association (SBREA) and I feel it is necessary to correct a few misconceptions. The initial gripe seems to concern the timing of my article: over two decades after the events had taken place. It was my belief that adequate time had passed, with many that were involved at the time, including myself, having retired from more..

රාජපක්ෂලා නැත්තම් විමල් ඉවරයි

Woman arrested for attending classes conducted by Zahran Hashim

Feb 20 (DM) A 24-year-old female, who alleged to have attended classes conducted by Easter Sunday suicide bomber Zahran Hashim, arrested in Mawanella by the TID (Terrorists Investigation Division) yesterday, police spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said. He said the suspect woman is being detained for further questioning. DIG Rohana said, her father and three brothers were arrested earlier in connection with the the suicide attack and vandalizing Buddha status in Mawanella. more..

BJP aspiration to rule neighbouring countries

Feb 20 (FT) Chief Minister of India’s Tripura State, Biplab Deb, sparked off a controversy over the weekend when he revealed that Indian Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah intended to establish Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Govts in SL and Nepal. Chief Minister Kumar, addressing a political rally recently, claimed Home Affairs Minister Shah intends forming a BJP Govt in SL, to create an Atmanirbhar South Asia. Under fire over Deb’s comment, the BJP said it has been spreading Indian culture and more..

American foreign agent who cheated SL out of $ 6.5 mn gets 12-year jail term in US

Feb 20 (Island) A Los Angeles-based venture capitalist and political fundraiser who faced several felony charges related to his work as a foreign agent, including cheating the SL govt out of millions of dollars promising to rebuild the country’s image following the end of the LTTE war, was sentenced to 144 months in federal prison. Imaad Shah Zuberi, 50, of Arcadia, California, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge more..

Committee appointed to study PCoI report on Easter attacks

Feb 20 (CT) Prez Rajapaksa has appointed a Six-member Committee tasked with an in-depth study of the findings and the recommendations on the course of action, contained in the final report of the PCoI into the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks and the report of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security (SOCNS) which has been submitted to Parliament. Committee is headed by Minister Chamal Rajapaksa. Ministers Johnston Fernando, Udaya Gammanpila, Ramesh Pathirana, more..

Refusing COVID-19 vaccine: Army Chief slams move as un-Sri Lankan

Feb 20 (Island) Only those who do not consider themselves Sri Lankans would refuse to be vaccinated against the coronavirus from an Army hospital, Army Commander, General Shavendra Silva said commenting on the decision by certain Tamil MPs not to visit Army camps to take the jab. The army media unit said the SL army was engaged in humanitarian operations as was public knowledge. The army does its best to protect the people and to help usher in development, more..

Resolution will promote reconciliation: Core Group

Feb 20 (DM) Core Group on Sri Lanka said a new resolution to be tabled at the UNHRC in Geneva will promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights in the country. The UNHRC will begin to meet on Monday for its 46th Session, during which a report on SL will also be formally tabled by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. Core Group on SL said that it has been in talks with Govt of SL more..

Renewable energy project: Cabinet seeks further details

Feb 20 (DM) Cabinet has sought more details about the renewable energy project to be executed in three islands off Jaffna - Nagadeepa, Delft and Analativu - with financial assistance from Asian Development Bank (ADB). The project is now mired in controversy after Indian registered protest over the selection of a Chinese company to execute the project. However, spokesman for the CEB Sulakshana Jayawardane said that the contract was awarded to the Chinese company for the implementation of more..

Shani transferred back to Welikada after surgery

Feb 20 (FT) SSP Shani Abeysekera was transferred back to the Welikada prison hospital from the Colombo National Hospital yesterday. Abeysekera was transferred to the Welikada Prison around 7 p.m. last evening. The former CID Director underwent emergency heart surgery for the insertion of a cardiac stent on the evening of 18 Feb. Abeysekera was not granted access to his family despite his illness. Former CID director contracted COVID-19 while he was remanded more..

Member of Special PCoI resigns

Feb 20 (FT) One of the members of the 3-member Special PCoI appointed by Prez Rajapaksa to deal with charges of political victimisation by those in the previous administration has resigned. Judge of the Court of Appeal Rathnapriya Gurusinghe has tendered his resignation to the Prez, and in his place, CA Judge Sobhitha Rajakaruna has been appointed. Its other two members are Judges of SC Justice more..

SLAF drones to combat the deadliest insect

Feb 20 (MoD) In a bid to support the national drive mooted to curb the spread of dengue fever within the Western Province, Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) received two drone cameras from the Western Province Governor, the Marshal of the Air Force Roshan Goonetileke yesterday (18). Drones would be deployed to trace the dengue breeding grounds and also to observe the aerial spraying of liquids in breeding prone areas, the SLAF Spokesperson Group Capt. Dushan Wijesinghe said. more..

Ad hoc vaccinations to stop; health officials to get tough

Feb 20 (DM) Following complaints that several people who were not under the vulnerable groups had received the Astra Zeneca vaccinations against COVID-19 in recent days, health officials at a meeting yesterday decided to get tough and strictly implement the programme according to the groups officially allocated. Since the vaccination programme had opened out, especially to the vulnerable groups in Western Province this week, several individuals who were not under the vulnerable group more..

Video: Wimal says President assured support to preserve unity

Feb 20 (AD) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has assured his intervention as the country’s leader to preserve harmony among political parties, while guiding the country forward. This was revealed by Minister Wimal Weerawansa, following a meeting with the Head of State this evening (19). Prez Rajapaksa had granted an audience for 10 political parties representing the govt in Parliament to discuss the matter. more..

Textile manufacturing plants to be constructed in Eravur

Feb 20 (TM) Govt has given the green light to commence the construction of textile manufacturing plants in 2021 with a view to cut down the expenditure on apparel raw material imports. “Discussions are underway with the Govt to construct 10 to 12 textile manufacturing plants in Eravur, with an investment from the private sector. It would entail infrastructure cost of around Rs. 5 billion. We can project an increase in procurement from Sri Lanka to approximately $ 1 billion,” more..

Leading green house gas emitting countries should pay more: Cabraal

Feb 20 (CT) State Minister of Money & Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal claimed that countries emitting higher quantities of green house gasses should do more in terms of financing to tackle climate change and global environmental issues. Speaking at a conference on sustainable green financing, organised by the International Chamber of Commerce and UN ESCAP, the Minister said, “Sri Lanka has not damaged the environment as more..

Abandoned LRT project’s consultants demand Rs. 5 billion for work done

Feb 20 (ST) Project consultants for the Japan Int'l Cooperation Agency-funded Light Rail Transit (LRT) — which was cancelled by the Govt last year — have lodged a claim of around Rs 5bn for work already done, other expenses and loss of profit. The consultants are a joint venture between Oriental Consultants Global of Japan and SL’s Consulting Engineers & Architects Associated. Unless the UDA has other sources, more..

Notices issued on SL Tourism Chairperson and others on Contempt of Court charges

Feb 20 (FT) The District Court of Colombo yesterday, upon considering an application preferred by the Plaintiff-Petitioner Lanka Realty Leisure Ltd. (LRL), issued summons and charge sheets on several Respondent-Accused, including SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairperson Kimarli Fernando. Other Respondent-Accused are SLTDA Director General Dhammika Wijesinghe and Addl Director General Anoma Nandani for violating an Interim Injunction issued by District Court. more..

Marvan praises indefatigable Prasad

Feb 20 (Island) During a training session of the national cricket team 20 years ago, the captain in waiting Marvan Atapattu was troubled by a 19-year-old fast bowler. Marvan was convinced that he saw something special in the quickie and at the end of the session, had a chat to the player and inquired what club he was representing. The bowler was Dhammika Prasad. When he informed Marvan that he had no affiliations so far, the opening batsman urged Prasad to join Singhalese Sports Club. more..

517 persons test positive for COVID-19

Feb 20 (FT) 517 persons tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 patients detected in the island to 78,937. Of the 517 persons, 506 were associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster and the triple clusters that emerged from Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda and Prisons currently stand at 74,877 patients. Total patient count also includes 1,985 SL returnees from abroad, 950 Navy personnel & their contacts, more..

Sri Lankan cheese maker says supply insufficient to meet demand

Feb 20 (ST) Muthurajawela wetland on the western outskirts of Colombo, parts of which have been reclaimed, has nothing to do with cheese. However it is ideal grazing land for dairy farming and cheese is a major component made out of cow’s milk. Sunil Rodrigo, Chairman, Lili Cheese Ltd, born and bred in Muthurajawela in Mahawatte, Pamunugama, started dairy farming as far back as in the 1960s as a schoolboy maintaining six cows and he recalls in the early days there were 300-400 dairy more..

IT sector gears up with resilience for growth opportunities

Feb 20 (ST) Gone are the days where employees were confined to offices and work for 8-12 hours interacting with colleagues while spending much time in staff gossip. All of a sudden this change has taken place in the wake of COVID-19 with many employees now working from home participating in discussions in video conferencing, online and mobile phone deliberations. Enterprises are now applying different digital tools to manage their operations and these tools worked as a catalyst for more..

'Strike a balance between franchise leagues and international cricket'

Feb 20 (PTI) SL batting great Kumar Sangakkara is opposed to players choosing franchise leagues such as the IPL over international cricket but wants the ICC and member nations to strike a balance as both benefit the game. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) recently indicated that it may not stop its players from participating in the upcoming IPL even if the lucrative T20 event's last matches clash with the Kiwis' Test series more..

Gilbert aims to attract more youngsters for shotgun shooting

Feb 20 (ST) As the sport of shooting makes a gradual comeback following the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Shooting Sport Federation (NSSF) has initiated the commencement of its Trap and Skeet (Shotgun events) competitions. The Clay Target Shooting Club of Colombo’s Shotgun Range in Payagala, being the only current facility in the country, will serve as the venue for these competitions. Mohan Gilbert, the Vice President of the NSSF responsible for the development of more..

Ashini upsets title-holder Dilmi at SLB Nationals

Feb 20 (CT) Ashini Fernando stunned defending Women’s Singles National Champion Dilmi Dias yesterday to make it to the quarter-finals of the 68th National Badminton Championships continued at the Mercantile Badminton Association Courts in Colombo yesterday. Dias who was aiming for back-to-back National titles, lost in straight sets with a score line of (21-15, 21-19). Fernando will meet seventh seed Thiyana Vidanaarachchi in today’s quarter-final at the same venue. more..

Exporters decry CB order to convert 25% forex earnings

Feb 20 (FT) Exporters yesterday raised concerns over a new Central Bank order to immediately convert 25% of forex earnings through licenced banks, insisting such a policy could increase costs and place more pressure on an already struggling sector. The Central Bank yesterday released details of a Gazette notification published on Thursday that called for exporters to immediately convert into rupees 25% of more..

Chandimal, Mathews excel with centuries

Feb 20 (CT) Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews excelled with centuries at the Sri Lanka intra-squad practice 50-over encounter played at CCC yesterday. Chandimal representing Team Shanaka smashed an unbeaten 149 in 123 deliveries which saw 14 fours and 5 sixes. Skipper Shanaka scored 51 off 58, while Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva made unbeaten 80 off just 40 deliveries with seven fours and two sixes. In reply, Team Dimuth had made 258 for 8 in 45 overs more..

Tea Chief Molligoda appointed to BOC Board

Feb 20 (FT) Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed Jayampathi Molligoda to the Board of Bank of Ceylon (BOC). Molligoda is also the current Chairman of SL Tea Board. Prior to his current assignment, he served as CEO at Bogawantalawa Tea Estates till 10 Dec 2019, having joined BTE as Director - Finance in 1992. In addition, he served as Chairman of the Independent Audit Committee of Finlay Teas, Colombo, during the period 2004-2015, and Senior Finance Manager at ANCL more..

Visions of Destruction to Geneva

Feb 20 (Island) Somawathiya National Park has hit the headlines. It is not for the spread of nature or the sanctuary for nature within it, but the illegal land grab of 1,000 acres that has now moved on to 3,000 acres. Will this be the limit? Somawathiya is not alone. There is Sinharaja, Sigiriya and many more reserves threatened by the land grab forces of today. Just keep thinking of what the Defence Secretary Kamal Guneratne has said about more..

A slice of Africa in Puttalam

Feb 20 (DN) Most Sri Lankans in Colombo city would have caught a glimpse of robust women, of African descent dancing to pulsating drumbeats. We have applauded the performances of the African Manja group. But have we truly understood their origins, displacement and hardships hidden behind their smiles. I firmly believe that after their generations have lived here for 500 years, they too are very much Sri Lankan. For centuries Ceylon had been a maritime domain for foreign traders, more..

Another national trait; UN journo; other snippets

Feb 20 (Island) Cassandra often disparages Sri Lankans’ apparently inherent traits which are not so good, sometimes even derogatory. One such is closing the door once the horse has fled and then flapping around merely screeching. Another is belated reaction and too late action which Cass’ belly aches about today. After that intrepid fauna and flora saver Devanee Jayathilake brought to the notice of highway constructors the fact they were about to destroy a fast disappearing species more..

සටන: වත්මන් දේශපාලන වාතාවරණය

The lost UNP generations: Ronnie de Mel

Feb 20 (CT) The third member of JR’s Cabinet I look at is still alive. I refer to Ronnie de Mel, who was older than Ranjith Atapattu, who died just three years ago, in his eighties. Once or twice in recent years there has been mention of Ronnie, but he too now is largely forgotten. This should not be the case, for he was responsible for implementation of the economic policies that still hold sway in this country. He was JR’s Finance Minister, almost to the end of JR’s Presidency, and he thus presided over more..

Statement on PCoI on political victimisation

Feb 20 (GV) Today, I am going to explain about the Commission on Political Victimisation established by President Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The Commission was set up to investigate acts of political victimisation faced by Govt officers, public servants, officers in state institutions including corporations, armed forces personnel and police officers during the period from 8 Jan 2015 to 19 Nov 2019, and to mete out justice. This is what appears to be the aim of this commission. more..

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