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Bachelet proposes HCHR office in SL

Mar 21 (CT) SL Govt told the UNHRC that a Hybrid Court to probe alleged war crimes will not be possible without an Amendment to the Constitution approved by two-thirds of the MPs and also approved by the people at a Referendum. At the yesterday’s session, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) Michelle Bachelet also proposed establishing an Office of the HCHR in Sri Lanka and called for more..

E-health program saves govt Rs 7 b annually

Mar 21 (DN) SL govt is saving over Rs 7 billion annually due to the E- health program where over 200 govt hospitals have come on- line, said Minister Rajitha Senaratne. He was speaking at the National Chamber of Commerce (NCCSL) organized int'l Healthcare exhibition 2019 which will be held from July 12 to 14 at BMICH. He said that all health reports, prescribed medicine of patients seeking treatment at govt hospitals are now computerized and people don’t have to carry reports when more..

STF nets two more underworld figures

Mar 21 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, the Special Task Force, on Tuesday night, arrested notorious criminal and drug dealer Chaminda Chathuranga alias Kaduwela Babee, a member of underworld gang leader Angoda Lokka’s team, in a raid conducted at Gnanawimala Mawatha, Hewagama, Kaduwela. The STF took into custody 650 gm of heroin, one kilo Kerala ganja and two weighing scales used in drug dealing, from the hideout of Kaduwela Babee. Acting on information elicited from Kaduwela Babee more..

Power cut rumour a hoax: Ministry

Mar 21 (CT) The Ministry of Power and Energy yesterday, confirmed that a rumour spreading across multiple social media platforms yesterday, that a power cut is scheduled to commence from today (21), is a hoax. It added that since the second phase of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant was repaired and connected to the national grid on 19 March night there won’t be any power curtailment in any area. more..

Gotabaya will help UNF candidate get minority votes: Rajitha

Mar 21 (Island) Fielding Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the SLPP candidate at the next prez election will stand UNF candidate in good stead in that the latter will get the minority votes, Minister Rajitha Senaratne says. He said: "Gotabaya Rajapaksa can pretend that he gained the confidence of minorities by producing videos and pictures of him dining with minority community members, but he will not get their votes. If he thinks that minorities have forgotten how they were treated when Gotabaya was more..

Video: Best solution for minorities to overcome current situation is me: Gotabaya

Mar 21 (AD) Former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that he is the best solution for the minorities to overcome the current situation that they are in. He said he is confident that he be well received by the minorities in the country. The former Defense Secretary made these comments speaking to the media following an event held in Narahenpitiya last evening (20). People beseech him as a leader as they have seen his capability to work, he further said. more..

Govt uses UK diplomatic dispatches to dispute death toll claimed by UN

Mar 21 (Island) Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, yesterday, challenged the UN claim that 40,000 civilians were killed on the Vanni east front in the final phase of the war between January and May 2009. Marapana used the disclosure made by Lord Naseby in the House of Lords, on Oct 12, 2017 to dispute the UN claim. One-time Attorney General Marapana, also, strongly defended both retired and serving officers accused of war crimes. more..

China's Port in Sri Lanka could get boost from proposed refinery

Mar 21 (BN) A proposed oil refinery in Sri Lanka could boost a barely used Chinese-operated port that has piled on debt for the country and fueled criticism of President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road infrastructure-building initiative. The $3.9 billion refinery project will be located near the southern Sri Lankan port of Hambantota, which was built with funding from Beijing and eventually handed over on a 99-year lease to a state-owned Chinese company in a debt-to-equity swap. more..

Leaving no one behind: IESL Forum today to celebrate World Water Day 2019

Mar 21 (FT) The Water Forum, water arm of the Institution of Engineers SL (IESL) was established for spreading awareness amongst population and all concerned, particularly among engineers working in the water sector about efficient water management by adopting best practices. The mission of Water Forum is to promote and propagate the concept of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and facilitate the innovation, technology development for conservation and more..

Video: Drastic decrease in kidney disease cases: Prez

Mar 21 (AD) Due to the broad programmes launched within the past four years in preventing the kidney disease, there is a reduction in the spread of kidney disease, President Maithripala Sirisena has said. President further stated that the public services have been stronger in the last four years, regardless of criticisms. He also said that those services will be expanded for the benefit of innocent people. more..

Bhu Abhimani, Haritha Harasara Pranama Ulela under Prez’s patronage

Mar 21 (PSL) The Bhu Abhimani, Haritha Harasara Pranama Ulela organized by the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) with the aim of creating eco-friendly country was held under the patronage of President Sirisena at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre, yesterday (18). During this event, the Prez presented felicitation awards to the officers in recognition of their great contribution for the protection of the environment. President also unveiled the flag which was created to more..

SLNS Sagara leaves for Malaysia to participate in LIMA-2019

Mar 21 (SLN) SL Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel SLNS Sagara left Trincomalee harbour today (19) for Malaysia to participate in the International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA)-2019 which is scheduled to be held on Langkawi Island. The ship bade farewell in accordance with naval traditions prior to her departure from the port of Trincomalee and the occasion was attended by the Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Sumith Weerasinghe, Flag Officer more..

Oman denies it has agreed to invest in Sri Lanka oil refinery project

Mar 21 (Reuters) Oman’s oil ministry on Wednesday denied being part of a $3.85 billion plan to build an oil refinery in Sri Lanka, a day after the govt in Colombo announced the Arab country’s participation. SL officials told a news conference on Tuesday that a joint venture between the Oman oil ministry and a Singapore investment vehicle owned by India’s Accord Group had agreed to build the 200,000 barrel per day refinery near H'tota port. more..

Alleviating poverty in Sri Lanka: Take a broader look at poverty measures!

Mar 21 (IPS) Sri Lanka has managed to bring down its poverty from 26.1% in 1990/91 to just 4.1% by 2016. However, it is not enough to consider only income poverty when monitoring poverty, as many are faced with multiple dimensions of poverty. It is important to note that many Sri Lankans live just above and very close to the National Poverty Line (NPL). For example, more than 400,000 persons fall within 10% above the NPL and around one million persons live within 20% above the NPL. more..

Udesh & Chalani emerge Carrom champions

Mar 21 (CT) Udesh Chandima (Air Force) beat defending National champion Shaheed Hilmy (Royal College) by 2 frames to 1 (25/07, 15/25, 25/23) in the Men’s Division at the Grand Slam Carrom championship 2019 held at the Carrom Federation, from 16-18 March. A significant feature was Udesh beating World Champion Nishantha Fernando in the quarter-final by 2 frames to 1 (25/00, 04/25, 25/06). Chalani Lakmali (Air Force) beat six times National champ Joseph Roshita (Navy) more..

Ranil revs up private sector

Mar 21 (FT) Delivering a vote of confidence, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday backed the private sector insisting that as the engine of growth they have what it takes to deliver a stronger economy for Sri Lanka and pledged to provide support for companies to find new paths of advancement. Speaking at a packed Fireside Chat, PM acknowledged that the business environment has been challenging over the past few years more..

Torrington Death Trap

Mar 21 (CT) Torrington Indoor Stadium which is used daily by National Wrestling, Karate and Gymnastic athletes for training has become a death trap, as old and rusted equipment in the premises has turned it into a dangerous zone for them. Most of the equipment are not in useable condition as they are old, rusted and worn out, but despite being National athletes they are forced to use the Indoor Stadium due to lack of alternate facilities. National pool of the sports highlighted consist of more..

Diplomats show way forward for Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (FT) Nine diplomats on Tuesday shared their frank views on a wide range of topics as to what they think is the best way forward for Sri Lanka at the packed Fireside Chat 2019. Envoys of UK James Dauris, China Hu Wei, EU Thorsten Bargfrede, Switzerland Hanspeter Mock, Canada David McKinnon, Netherlands Joanne Doornewaard, Malaysia Tan Yang Thai, Bangladesh Riaz Hamidullah and Indonesia Gusti Ardiyasa listed out some of SL’s key challenges and more..

Time-bound implementation plan needed to hold Sri Lanka to its commitments: HRW

Mar 21 (HRW) When the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 30/1 by consensus in Oct 2015, Sri Lanka, through its co-sponsorship, committed to 25 key undertakings across a range of human rights issues. A core commitment was to set up four transitional justice mechanisms to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights in the country. These included an accountability mechanism involving more..

Softlogic wins big at DELL Partner Awards FY19

Mar 21 (Island) Softlogic Information Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Softlogic Holdings PLC, won prestigious awards in the recently held Dell Power Awards at Anantara Kalutara. The event was graced by regional representatives from Dell including Anothai Wettayakorn - Vice President of Asia Emerging Markets and South Asia Consumer and Small Business, Chee Wei Chue - Channel Leader Dell EMC/Channels Asia Emerging Market. Softlogic Information Technologies was more..

Is Football the wealthy orphan of SL sports?

Mar 21 (ST) No news is good news, it is said. Sri Lanka Football is in limbo as never before! Football enthusiasts have all but given up what it can expect from a sport that thrives on doing nothing for its fans. The Dialog Champions League has come and gone and the story that the National Teams have been in training, was cloaked in secrecy. Finally, the newspapers just a few days ago, broke the story that the Women’s Team is participating in the SAFF Tournament in Nepal while more..

Factories don’t brew tea anymore

Mar 21 (ST) Tea factory owners are facing bankruptcy in the wake of low yields and poor quality produce with some of them forced to close shop as well. The govt is now trying to find ways to assist them to overcome their financial difficulties. Minister Navin Dissanayake met SL Factory Owners Association (SLFOA) members for a discussion at the ministry on Thursday where concerns were raised regarding factories facing bankruptcy more..

Saving children from menace of smoking

Mar 21 (Island) Conventional wisdom is that old dogs cannot learn new tricks. So Mr Editor, let me begin with a habitual phrase of mine. Reading your editorial titled Holier-than-thou sinners on Saturday (16) really warmed the cockles of my 86-year-old failing heart. I attribute the chronic state of failure of my heart partly to the fact that during the early years of my life, I unwittingly inhaled day-in and day-out, second-hand tobacco smoke released by my chain-smoking father. more..

Thai Govt's generosity

Mar 21 (Island) Royal Thai Embassy, in SL, has always been supportive of projects that benefit the masses. The needs of children, especially, are looked into by the Royal Thai Embassy and the Royal Thai Govt. Since coming into the scene, in 2017, Ambassador of Thailand to SL, Mrs. Chulamanee Chartsuwsn, has been very active, supporting various ventures. On Ma 11th, 2019, Mrs. Chartsuwan, attended the opening ceremony of a computer laboratory at Vajira Sri Children’s more..

Sri Lanka’s new map to get off the ground

Mar 21 (CT) Internationally Sri Lanka is branded as a spot that enhances the true beauty of nature and embellishes the historic essence of Buddhism. Within an area of 65,610 square kilometres it encompasses the natural beauty of tropical beaches, ancient monuments, verdant vegetation, wildlife, waterfalls and a thousand more astonishing spots to please the varied tastes of travellers. The palm fringed beaches more..

In Mali with SL Army UN Peacekeepers

Mar 21 (Island) On our return to Bamako, the capital of Mali we went to Polyclinic Pasteur hospital to visit Corporal Kumarasinghe, who was badly injured in the terrorist attack, which killed Captain Jayawickerma and Corporal Wijayakumara. Corporal Kumarasinghe, who hails from Gampola said that he had heard a loud explosion and regained consciousness in hospital. Only then did he realise what had taken place. Kumarasinghe said his condition was improving. more..

Sri Lanka FTA debate: What have we gained and what can we achieve?

Mar 21 (DM) The govt of Sri Lanka has embraced Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) as a key focus of the national trade and development strategy. The rationale of this policy choice has been intensely debated in the SL policy circles. The debate has reached a new height following the release of the report of the Committee of Experts (CoE) appointed by the President to evaluate the SL–Singapore free trade agreement. The purpose of this article is to assess this debate. more..

Mahinda Amaraweera

Edtorial: Power and punditry

Mar 21 (Island) The people must have heaved a sigh of relief on being informed, yesterday, that the defective generator at the Norochcholai power plant had been fixed. But they should not be so naďve as to be lulled into a false sense of complacency; the threat of power cuts is far from over. It was long before the Norochcholai power plant, popularly known as Always Breakdown, started giving trouble that the govt started treating the public to lectures on the importance of saving electricity more..

Contrasting styles of the Prez and the PM

Mar 21 (ST) One of the main reasons for the Yahapalana Govt struggling to govern in the second half of its term in office is that, there are no Rules of Engagement (RoE) that govern the relationship between the President and the UNP. Having been at loggerheads over the years, the differences between the SLFP and the UNP had filtered down to their respective supporters, and it is only to be expected that it would not be easy to rebuild relations overnight. more..

Is your driving school up to standard?

Mar 21 (DN) “I had to pay a bribe of Rs. 3,000 to my driving school to get through the practical test for my driving licence,” a learner from the Ragama area said. Why do people have to bribe to pass driving licence test?, people ask frequently. If bribing is possible, why are driving schools there to train drivers? If you ask anyone for their opinion on driving schools, most of them would speak in the negative, for sure. more..

UNF Govt’s betrayal of country and people

Mar 21 (CT) When the war with the LTTE ended in 2009, Govt of Sri Lanka took action based on the LLRC Report to rectify the unfavourable outcomes in a systematic manner in accordance with internationally -accepted post-war procedures which accord with International Humanitarian Law. Though much was done to improve the economic plight of the people in terms of infrastructure development and promoting human resources, it, however, fell short of finding a political solution to more..

Royal Institute: Viyathmaga Kamal Gunaratne’s child abuse saga continues

Mar 21 (CT) The National Police Commission confirmed in a letter dated 29th Jan, that they had concluded the complaint made by a parent bearing entry number WCIB II 96/80 regarding the child abuse of students at Royal Institute by Retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne and that a B Report bearing number M/U B3219/18 has been filed with the Nugegoda Magistrates court pending advice from the Attorney General. The National Police Commission in its letter also confirmed that more..

Sri Lanka’s most-wanted Makandure Madush files FR to block arrest

Mar 21 (SO) In a shocking move last week, notorious criminal Madush Lakshitha, infamously known as Makandure Madush became the latest high profile suspect to file a fundamental rights petition in the hope of preventing his possible arrest by local law enforcement agencies. Over the past four years, a string of such petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court, by persons of repute implicated in criminal investigations, asking more..

Terrorism in Aotearoa

Mar 21 (GV) Do you love New Zealand, asked the extremely inebriated young white man and his companion as they suddenly blocked my path at the Octagon, a few weeks after I arrived in Dunedin. Of all the people on the sidewalk at the time, I noticed they only followed me for a while. Not knowing quite how to respond, I said affably that I liked what I had seen so far. Entirely uninterested in my answer, coming closer and with their bodies and fingers arching towards me, they said that more..

The first child abuser of Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (CT) My father gave me the one and only tokka of my life when I was twelve. It was semi hard and unpracticed- a bad tokka by any definition. It was the first time I have seen him raise his hand to anyone. As I jerked my head in utter surprise he almost missed his aim. That shape shifting in that split second broke an unspoken pact. He never referred to it and neither have I. Today I can tell, with my hand on my heart that he never raised his hand to me again. more..