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UK seeks to involve in local legal procedure over dumping their toxic waste here

Jan 25 (Island) Environment Agency of the UK yesterday wrote to the Ministry of Justice, seeking permission to coordinate with legal formalities here and spelling out their willingness to send a team of experts to Sri Lanka over dumping more than 100 container loads of their toxic waste here. Ministry of Justice, informed the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) on the letter titled Export of waste to Sri Lanka in breach of more..

No serious resistance from Employers’ Fed of Ceylon: Govt

Jan 25 (Island) State Power Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said on Wednesday (22), Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s decision to increase the daily wage of an estate worker to Rs. 1,000 from March 01, 2020, had not been seriously opposed by the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon. Addressing the media at the PM’s Office, lawmaker Aluthgamage said those who had been fighting for Rs 1,000 daily wage now question more..

Hot and humid days in the coming weeks, air quality poor

Jan 25 (ST) Hot and humid days are to be expected in the coming weeks while the present chilly conditions in the mornings will gradually fade away, the Meteorology Department forecasts. On Friday the temperature was 35 degrees in Ratnapura while throughout last week it was about 30 degrees in many districts. Ratmalana in the Colombo district recorded 33.6 degrees while the rest of Colombo recorded 32 degrees. more..

'Students allowed to continue courses at University Colleges'

Jan 25 (DN) Students who follow courses at University Colleges that were initiated during the Mahinda Rajapaksa era before 2015 would be given the opportunity to continue their courses up to degree level, although the previous UNP led Govt attempted to close them down, Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardane said in Parliament. He added that all measures would be taken to ensure the future of the students of University Colleges more..

Sri Lanka faces EU ire after government breaks UN war obligations

Jan 25 (NAR) Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa faces his first test of diplomacy three months into his inaugural term, as he seeks to dilute the country's postwar commitments, possibly flouting U.N. resolutions. Rajapaksa plans to make his case to the UNHRC which is holding sessions in Geneva from late February, running the risk of raising the ire of the European Union, a major trading partner of the South Asian nation. more..

Sri Lanka’s first National Centre for Children with Disabilities declared open

Jan 25 (AD) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has declared open Sri Lanka’s first National Centre for Children with Disabilities, which is named Ayati Centre. The event was attended by Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, former State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene, Vice Chancellor of University of Kelaniya Prof. D.M. Semasinghe, Dean of the university’s Medical Faculty Prof. Prasantha Wijesinghe and more..

Sri Lanka in move to liberalise alcohol licenses to boost tourism

Jan 25 (EN) Provincial councils in Sri Lanka have been asked to liberalize beverage licenses to improve tourism receipts to the country. Provincial councils were requested present proposals to liberalise beverage licenses during a meeting with Tourism and Aviation Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and Tourism and Aviation State Minister Arundika Fernando. The meeting was held as a part of a plan to grow tourism more..

Blowing in the wind: Our own manmade forest fires fanned by drought

Jan 25 (ST) The drought has set in around Sri Lanka and, with it, forest fires have started. Despite repeated pleas, advice and warnings by the authorities, the blazes are all manmade. Fires in forests are not uncommon here. The number reported annually ranges from 50 to 200 depending on prevailing weather, said a paper published in 2001 by K P Ariyadasa, a former Conservator General of Forests. more..

Dog programme tossed like a ball between ministries

Jan 25 (ST) The previous govt’s decisions to keep tossing the dog sterilisation programme between ministries last year resulted in a regime that saw the work stymied for months. That situation probably led to a greater increase of strays on the street, both ministry officials and an NGO in the sector suggested. There are around 3 million dogs in the country (one dog for every eight people). A third of these animals, more..

Howls of protests but DWC allays fears

Jan 25 (ST) As strong protests came from environmentalists over reported moves to give out arms to personnel from the Civil Defence Force to curb the human-elephant conflict (HEC), wildlife conservation officials were quick to allay fears and concerns over trigger-happy killings of wild animals. “These personnel from the Civil Defence Force would be supporting officials of Dept of Wildlife Conservation to man the electric fences” more..

A step in the right direction. What next?

Jan 25 (DM) Last week, the Cabinet decided to draft a National Intelligence Act. Minister Bandula Gunawardena who announced the decision said the objective was “to mitigate the damage caused to the state intelligence agencies under the Yahapalana govt, prevent repetitions and strengthen the State intelligence services to face any threat to National Security.” That is the right decision, communicated in the wrong way. When you colour a national initiative with a political tint, more..

There is fire in smoking

Jan 25 (DM) For most people, the most dreaded disease is cancer. Even family members and friends are affected by it because in most cases it leads to death. On Feb 4, the United Nations marks World Cancer Day and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a statement says Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries. more..

SriLankan takes precautions against Coronavirus: Tourism to take a hit?

Jan 25 (CT) SriLankan Airlines announced that it has implemented a series of precautionary measures to mitigate the risks from the current Coronavirus epidemic in the Far East, with the safety and wellbeing of its passengers and staff in mind. SriLankan's cabin crew and other relevant staff have been briefed on action to be taken on board and at airports, especially in the Far East. The Airline is also in contact with relevant more..

Fifty years on, Citizenship Amd Act brings new fears to Tamils repatriated from SL

Jan 25 (Hindu) Valliyammal M., who was repatriated to India from Sri Lanka more than four decades ago, has been living in the same house in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu that the govt built for her and her husband then. She has now partitioned the small single-room house into two, so that her son, Selvaraj, and his family can live in one half. As she boils water on a wood stove, the 75-year-old recalls how difficult she found life in India for the first two years after her return. more..

AASL to promote Ratmalana, Mattala airports through incentives to budget airlines

Jan 25 (TM) Airport & Aviation Services in SL (AASL) is offering a host of incentives to int'l budget airlines to fly to the Ratmalana Int'l Airport and the Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport (MRIA). The incentives include subsidised air handling and fuel charges, AASL Chairman Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) G.A. Chandrasiri said. “If airlines are interested they must come and discuss with us. We are giving all the facilities they could ever need. They will never get a package like this anywhere in Asia,” more..

Indictments served on 13 accused in Civilians abduction case

Jan 25 (DM) Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar served indictments on 13 accused in connection with the abduction, torture, extortion and conspiracy to murder eleven people in 2008 and 2009. One of the accused, former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda was not present in court as he was not served with the notice to appear in court yesterday. At the outset the Counsel for the accused requested court not to serve the indictments more..

Conduct fresh forensic report on Bond Scam: State Minister Amunugama

Jan 25 (DN) A fresh investigation should be conducted under the present Govt into the forensic report on the Central Bond Bond scam, State Minister Dilum Amunugama said. “This is because the forensic report had been formulated by a group of persons in the former Government who were connected to the scam,” he said. He said the Central Bank Bond scam not only caused the defeat of the previous regime at the last Presidential Election, but also led the country’s economy to destruction. more..

Sri Lankan Embassy in Beijing plans to evacuate Sri Lankans in Wuhan

Jan 25 (TM) Upon the advice of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the SL Embassy in Beijing is in discussion with the relevant Chinese authorities and other embassies in Beijing to explore all the possibilities of evacuating Sri Lankans in Wuhan, Foreign Ministry said. Embassy is monitoring the evolving situation of the coronavirus infection in China and is presently in discussion with relevant Chinese authorities in Beijing and Wuhan as well as Lankans in Wuhan and other parts of China. more..

SL new govt to investigate war missing

Jan 25 (AFP) SL's presidency said Friday that death certificates for thousands of people missing presumed dead from the country's civil war will only be given out after proper investigations. Statement followed comments from Prez Rajapaksa that those missing were actually dead had caused anguish among relatives that govt would close the issue without addressing what happened to their loved ones. more..

Nanda to oversee 100,000 job project

Jan 25 (Island) One-time Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Nanda Mallawarachchi has been appointed Director General, Multi Development Task Force responsible for high profile project to recruit and train 100,000 members of low income families. The project implemented in line with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s 2019 presidential poll pledge aimed to uplift the living standards of the poorest of poor, Govt Spokesman State Power Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said. more..

Three-wheelers face challenges in transport evolution

Jan 25 (ST) Despite opposition from unions, the Transport Ministry aims to reduce imports of three wheelers. Transport Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that there is a proposal to replace three-wheelers with small cars due to the many restrictions faced by three-wheelers from the development of road infrastructure. “We will first introduce a uniform for all three-wheeler drivers and make it mandatory. Then we will look at fare meters and pricing,” he said. more..

Sajith asked to take leadership of new UNP-led coalition

Jan 25 (DN) Less than two months away from the expected announcement of a General Election, the UNP in a swamp over choosing its own leadership, is now poised to cut a path between its current leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa by forming new UNP-led political alliance of which Premadasa would be the appointed leader. Accordingly, Sajith Premadasa will be the leader of new coalition more..

Mathews back in top 20 after Harare double-century

Jan 25 (CT) Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews is back among the top 20 batsmen in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings after helping his side win by 10 wickets in Harare to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series against Zimbabwe. In the latest rankings update that also includes the Port Elizabeth Test, which England won by an innings and 53 runs to go 2-1 ahead in the four-Test series, Mathews has advanced eight places to reach 16th position after his unbeaten 200 in Harare. more..

State corp. heads duty-bound to uplift efficiency and profit levels: President

Jan 25 (DM) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that state corporation heads are duty-bound to uplift efficiency levels and generate profit without burdening the govt. “We must identify the fields by which we could serve the people and uplift our economy in the best manner and develop those fields. The main responsibility regarding this lies in the hands of the Tourist Board and the BoI,” he said at a discussion with heads and senior officials of govt corporations at President Secretariat. more..

Some lawyers protest against move to arrest interdicted HC Judge Pilapitiya

Jan 25 (Island) A group of lawyers, yesterday, protested at Hultsdorp against what a spokesman for them, Sunil Watagala, called the Attorney General resorting to arbitrary actions in the wake of leaked audio clips containing conversations between judges and UNP lawmaker Ranjan Ramanayake. Attorney-at-law Watagala alleged that the Attorney General hadn’t followed the proper procedure in issuing instructions to the police to take more..

Dr. Shafi contests arrest and detention: SC fixes for support on 24 June

Jan 25 (FT) Supreme Court yesterday re-fixed for 24 June for granting of Leave to Proceed in respect of the Fundamental Rights petition filed on behalf of Doctor Mohamed Shafi Shihabdeen (42) of Kurunegala Teaching Hospital. The Bench comprised Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Justices L.T.B. Dehideniya and Padman Surasena. Counsel Faisz Musthapha PC informed Court that some of the Respondents ceased to hold office and sought time to amend the caption. more..

Three publications on nuclear disarmament and testing launched

Jan 25 (FT) Forum on Disarmament and Development (FDD) launched three publications titled Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and SL, Why SL Should Ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Why SL Should Accede to the Nuclear Ban Treaty (NBT) on 21 Jan. The foreword for the three publications was provided by Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs and FDD Patron. more..

Defence Secretary urges Police to control drug menace

Jan 25 (FT) Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Kamal Gunaratne urged Police to be committed to controlling drug menace and organised crimes by implementing effective strategies. He said the Police needed to be more active to control drug menace through collective efforts and careful planning. Highlighting the importance of launching special strategies to curb organised crimes, Gunaratne directed senior Police officers, more..

Eastern Traditional Pongal Festival 2020

Jan 25 (FT) Hindus across Sri Lanka celebrated Thai Pongal, a Hindu harvest festival dedicated to the Sun God. The festival is a public holiday in Sri Lanka. The Hindus among them are celebrating the Pongal harvest festival, popularly known as Thai Pongal, celebrated in the first four days of the month of Thai in the Tamil-Hindu calendar. Tamil culture has been forgotten for various reasons by many years, but now citizens have a responsibility to restore them and give back to society. more..

Govt declares new national parks

Jan 25 (FT) Govt has declared areas in Chundi-kulam, Delft Island, Adam’s Bridge, Kotuaththawala, Kayankerni, and Madu Road as national parks. Minister S.M. Chandrasena held some of these new national parks have already been longstanding sanctuaries with high levels of biodiversity and historical importance. “Chundikulam which was considered as a national sanctuary since 1938 was alleviated as a national park that contains over 27,500 acres of land. more..

බැඳුම්කර හොරු කියන්නේ ඒක කල්ලියක්

La Serena launches assisted living option for resort-style post-retirement life

Jan 25 (ST) La Serena, Sri Lanka’s first ever retirement resort for independent senior citizens, has announced it is now offering an assisted living option to further accommodate the unique needs of its clientele. La Serena is a purpose-built 44-unit beach-front facility styled on a resort hotel and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ceylinco Life. Retirees over the age of 55 who consider La Serena, especially for the ideal amalgamation of privacy and companionship it offers, more..

'Strong alignment between UN SDGs and Sri Lanka's Vision 2025'

Jan 25 (Island) "Sri Lanka's actions to meet the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are commendable. The UN has noted the strong alignment between the SDGs and the SL govt's Vision 2025 plan for meeting economic, social and demographic challenges, Dr In-Ki Joo, president, Int'l Federation of Accountants said at the ceremonial induction of Manil Jayesinghe as the 25th president of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka. more..

Governors’ fresh inputs sought to boost tourism in provinces

Jan 25 (FT) Govt sought Governors’ fresh inputs to boost tourism in the provinces and thereby enhance socio-economic development. The first-ever national initiative for cooperation between Sri Lanka Tourism and Provincial Councils was chaired by Minister Prasanna Ranatunga along with State Tourism Minister Arundhika Fernando and four Governors yesterday. Speaking at the event Minister Ranatunga said Govt intended to develop more..

Lanka’s lost try

Jan 25 (ST) Former Sri Lanka fly half Asanga Seneviratne is set to play a pivotal role in Asia rugby’s governing body by proposing structural changes to regional competitions in a bid to whip up spectator interest and attract sponsors. Shunned by Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) when he was nominated as a vice-president of Asia Rugby (AR), Seneviratne is back in the driving seat of the regional body as chairman of High Performance and the Competitions Committee once again. more..

Ambulance takes to the sky

Jan 25 (ST) On Thai Pongal day the Jaffna sky was adorned with many colourful kites as the annual kite festival held at Valvettiturai, in Jaffna took place. The festival is held to coincide with Thai Pongal celebrations and this was its tenth consecutive year. Forty eight kites of various designs were showcased, and the winner was a group of traditional musicians. One of the kites depicted Suwa Seriya, the country’s free ambulance service that can be reached by dialing 1990. more..