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Activists decry Sri Lankan president's praise for Duterte's drugs war

Jan 18 (Reuters) Human rights groups expressed alarm at SL's leader on Friday for praising Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his bloody war on drugs as an example to the whole world. Despite international condemnation of a crackdown that has killed thousands of Filipinos, visiting SL President Maithripala Sirisena told Duterte during a banquet this week that he wanted to follow your footsteps to control this hazard. more..

Relief for Sri Lanka as Mendis cleared of serious injury

Jan 18 (CI) An X-ray has cleared Kusal Mendis of any serious injury, after he had taken a fierce blow while fielding at short leg on the first day of the tour game against the Cricket Australia XI, in Hobart.* A powerful sweep from Jake Doran hit Mendis during the middle session of the day-night match and having been in considerable pain, he quickly left the field for treatment. He spent the rest of the day icing the injury to his more..

Video: Mahinda Rajapaksa assumes duties at Opposition Leader’s Office

Jan 18 (AD) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa has assumed duties at the Opposition Leader’s Office in Colombo this morning (18), said Ada Derana reporter. Chairman of SLPP G.L. Peiris, MP Susil Premajayantha, MP Gamini Lokuge and several other parliamentarians had joined this event held at the Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo 07. According to political sources, former Opposition Leader TNA more..

Sri Lanka seize explosives from local Islamist radicals

Jan 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka's police seized a haul of high explosives stashed near a wildlife sanctuary following the arrest of four men from a newly formed radical Muslim group, officials said Friday. Elite police commandos and detectives stumbled on the explosives which included some 100 detonators from a make-shift warehouse near the Wilpattu national park, police said. Official sources said the discovery was made during investigations more..

CPC TUs write to Kabir seeking intervention to protect China Bay Oil Tank Farm

Jan 18 (CT) Trade unions attached to the Ceylon Petroleum Cooperation (CPC) have requested Minister Kabir Hashim to intervene in the protection of the China Bay Oil Tank Farm in Trincomalee, as it has come to light that a sizeable number of such tanks have allegedly been sold as scrap iron. They have said that as it is nothing less than a crime to allow the country’s national resources and economic nerve centres to be allowed to decay and more..

'Estate Schools: Principals involved in extortion racket'

Jan 18 (CT) Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) General Secretary Joseph Stalin claims that principals of several upcountry schools are extorting money, in the form of donations, from parents, to transfer their children, from primary schools in estates, to secondary schools in towns, and also asking students to purchase uniform material and shoes, using govt vouchers, from shops where they have struck a deal. more..

New Constitution: UPFA alleges delayed UNP-led project on track

Jan 18 (Island) UPFA MP Shehan Semasinghe challenged the UNP to explain the status of the drafting of the new constitution. Semasinghe said that the UNP owed an explanation as its leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was on record as having said that neither a new Constitution nor a draft of it had been prepared. MP alleged that the UNP and its allies, the TNA and the JVP had been making contrary statements more..

Sumanthiran accuses media of reporting misleading news

Jan 18 (Island) TNA MP and party spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran issuing a statement in Jaffna on accused the media of being "intent on reporting deliberately false and misleading news" on the proposed new Constitution. Following is the full text: The media is busy reporting on what various individuals say about the draft Constitution, but don’t look at what the draft itself says. The media is intent on reporting deliberately false more..

'Carbon tax is a burden on motorists'

Jan 18 (DM) A future UPFA govt would amend the recently introduced carbon tax and implement a single tax for all motor cars, buses, vans, motor cycles and trishaws in a manner that will not be a burden to the tax payers, UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardana said today. He said the carbon tax was introduced by the UNF govt without carrying out a survey and had become an unnecessary hardship to the vehicle owners. more..

Sri Lanka’s ride to nowhere

Jan 18 (DM) One brother says, I’m ready if people are ready. The elder brother then tells media, I am also ready. They are both talking of the next Prez Election. The fact remains, there are two other brothers, who matter more. One has to give his consent and the other has to take over campaign management. That’s how the Rajapaksa family politics work and how Sinhala Buddhist votes begin to warm up as Rajapaksa votes. more..

Federal recipes supported by SLPP leaders

Jan 18 (DM) One group of politicians in the North keep on telling their voters that the Sinhalese leaders were depriving them of all their rights, to grab their lands, to sideline them in education and employment and what not. They see ulterior motives even in the Army rescuing their compatriots who had been marooned by the recent floods. They have their ideal counterparts in the South, who also always demonise the former by telling the Sinhalese that the Tamils were hell bent in conspiring to more..

Ooh these presidential hopefuls!

Jan 18 (DM) Govt ministers, members of parliament and a high-profile individual possessing both US citizenship and a military background, during the past few days, aired views on who should be the next president of Sri Lanka. The first to let out a positive signal in these lines was former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa who said that he was ready if people are ready, hinting that he would contest a presidential election in the future. The political stage right now supports a set-up more..

CB to raise over $5 billion in 1Q

Jan 18 (FT) The Central Bank is steaming ahead to raise funds for debt repayments, aiming to raise in excess of $5 billion over the next two months from a range of sources, including currency swaps from India, loans from Chinese banks, an international sovereign bond, lines of credit from State banks, as well as Panda and Samurai bonds. Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, speaking at the CCC 2019 outlook launch, more..

More funds for Health, Education sectors: PM

Jan 18 (DN) Despite various allegations about budget cuts, the present govt has allocated more funds for the Health and Education sectors than any of the other previous govts, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. He pointed out that the govt has spent Rs. 635 billion for the Education sector and Rs.690 billion on the Health sector during its term of office. PM was speaking at the opening ceremony of the new Medical Faculty of the Sabaragamuwa Uni in Ratnapura yesterday. more..

Probe launched into leopard’s death

Jan 18 (DN) The Wildlife Department has commenced an investigation into the death of a leopard whose carcass was found in Nuwara Eliya, Piduruthalagala Forest Reserve last Wednesday (15), DWC said. Wildlife Department sources said that the 68kg, 7.8 feet long leopard could possibly be the largest leopard discovered in the country. The carcass is presently at University of Peradeniya for post-mortem. The cause of death has not yet been revealed, DWC also said. more..

'Seat TNA with Govt'

Jan 18 (CT) UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila, in a letter to the Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya, has requested that arrangements be made to allocate seats from the Govt side for the TNA members, as they openly claim to have influence in the Govt’s decision-making process. In his letter, Gammanpila has also stated that TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah, who had spoken at a meeting held at Weerasingham Hall in Jaffna on 12 Jan, more..

Four arrested with explosives, detonators in Wanathawilluwa

Jan 18 (CT) The CID yesterday arrested four youths, in Wanathawilluwa, Puttalam on suspicion of terrorist activities. The foursome was arrested while residing at a 75-acre farmland in Lactowatta, Mangalapura, in the Wanathawilluwa area, in a search operation conducted in collaboration with the STF. Four barrel loads of explosives amounting to 100 kilograms and 100 detonators were also taken into the custody along with stocks of citric acid and certain religious books. more..

Gota case: 18 witnesses banned from travelling abroad

Jan 18 (DM) Acceding to a prosecution request in the case filed against former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Special High Court directed the Court Registrar to notify the 18 prosecution witnesses attached to the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (LRDC) not to leave the country without prior permission from the Court. Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris conducted the prosecution. Mr. Rajapaksa and six others were indicted on the charge of misappropriating more..

Justice Minister trying to find mole than acting on culprits

Jan 18 (DM) Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala has apparently put more effort into finding those who were involved in leaking the CCTV visuals of prison officers assaulting inmates at the Angunakolapelessa Prison rather than taking action against the officials who were involved in the inhumane assault. Ms. Athukorala warned that whoever leaked the visuals will be found and action taken against them. more..

Dual citizenship: Gota says US can’t block individual rights

Jan 18 (DM) Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the matter of dual-citizenship was something personal to him and he did not think the US could block individual rights. He said this in response to journalists at the Special High Court premises when they asked him about renouncing his dual citizenship and reports that he may not be allowed to do so. Mr. Rajapaksa said he could either cancel or keep the dual-citizenship as it was something personal. more..

First Sri Lankan women graduate from Army School of Ceremonial in UK

Jan 18 (FN) The first women from Sri Lanka will graduate from the Army School of Ceremonial in Catterick this week. Every year, military personnel from across the Commonwealth travel all the way to Catterick, in North Yorkshire, to learn the military drill at the Army School of Ceremonial. Flight Lieutenant Attale and Corporal Amarasena are the first Sri Lankan women to attend the school and they will graduate this week. "It's a rare chance, so we are really happy," said Flt Lt Attale. more..

Delay to return leased aircraft: SriLankan incurs US$12mn loss

Jan 18 (DM) SriLankan airlines has incurred a loss of US$12.5 million or Rs.1.72 billion between 2006 and 2018 because of its failure to re-deliver 14 leased aircraft to the lessor before the deadline, the PCoI was told. SriLankan's Technical Services Engineer Asitha Fernando, referring to his documents said the delay in re-delivering the aircraft was due to the lack of staff to carry out repairs, the failure to maintain documents and more..

UNDP hosts dialogue on Youth Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in SL

Jan 18 (UNDP) Today’s generation of young people is the largest the world has ever known. One in every three people alive today is under the age of thirty, and around ninety per cent of these young people are living mainly in Asia and Africa. In Sri Lanka alone, nearly a quarter of the population is youth. They are a critical segment of the country’s population; and investing in their potential can play a huge role in how Sri Lanka achieves the vision of a sustainable tomorrow. more..

PM’s helicopter diverted as S'gamuwa students protest

Jan 18 (DM) The helicopter carrying PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was forced to land in an alternative spot in Kuruvita when a group of students of the Sabaragamuwa University staged a protest against his arrival yesterday. Originally the chopper was to land at the playground of Seevali Central College in Ratnapura. PM was in Ratnapura to attend a ceremony held to mark the occasion of the Ratnapura Hospital being upgraded into a Teaching Hospital. more..

Mannar mass grave: Skeletal remains of 23 children among 300 found so far

Jan 18 (Island) Judicial Medical Officer of the Mannar General Hospital Dr. Saminda Rajapaksa, revealed that skeletal remains of 300 persons had been found, in the Mannar mass grave, and those of 294 of them removed for further investigations. Among them were the skeletal remains of 23 children. Six samples would be sent on Jan. 23 for carbon testing in Florida, Dr. Rajapaksa said, more..

China-SL joint centre of education and research event in Guangzhou

Jan 18 (FT) Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Guangzhou Priyangika Dharmasena, participated as Chief Guest on 9 Jan 2019, at the welcoming ceremony organised by the China-SL Joint Centre for Education and Research (CSL-CER) for SL students who have studied at the Uni of Chinese Academy of Sciences and will continue their studies in their respective specialised fields in areas including oceanography, geology, environmental science at the CSL-CER in Guangzhou. more..

Stakeholders fail in providing venture capital to SMEs: report

Jan 18 (DN) Venture capital has not been a popular source of capital to date in Sri Lanka. Almost all state and private banks operate their own venture capital firms, but there are almost no providers of venture capital to SMEs, according to a new report, commissioned by the British Council. State of Social Enterprises in Sri Lanka, study, commissioned by the British Council as part of its global social enterprise program reveals that only two private equity funds in Sri Lanka are focused on more..

New anti-corruption Commission likely to widen President-UNP rift

Jan 18 (FT) Prez Sirisena yesterday appointed a new anti-corruption Commission covering the period 15 Jan 2015 to 31 Dec 2018, a move that is likely to widen the existing rift between him and the UNP-led Govt. The appointment of the five-member Commission was announced yesterday, while the President is away on an official visit to the Philippines. The Gazette notification announcing the appointment of more..

Local crab green-lighted for export

Jan 18 (CT) Sri Lanka joined the Seafood Watch programme of the North American seafood rating organisation, Monterey Bay Aquarium, granting the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development immediate access to premium markets for eco-recommended crab products in the United States, Europe and Australia, said SL’s Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) Project Coordinator, Dr. Steve Creech. In this regard, an event was held at the Ministry of Fisheries more..

Dharmadasa’s alliance confident of victory

Jan 18 (CT) “We have a strategic plan to raise the standard of the game of cricket in Sri Lanka which is in very bad State now. Our team is out to serve for the betterment of the game and not to rob from the given opportunity, but to regain the glory of the game,” said Jayantha Dharmadasa yesterday at a press conference held at Nawaloka Auditorium to announce his grand alliance to take part in the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) election. Addressing the Media of his intention to contest the Presidency, more..

Both parties confident of winning cricket elections

Jan 18 (Island) Despite the cricket elections being delayed by a further two weeks, both contesting parties expressed confidence of winning the AGM that was postponed by the Appeal Court in May last year. The elections that were scheduled for the 7th of Feb was put off by a further two weeks by the Sports Ministry on legal advice. Now the elections will take place on the 21st Feb. Former cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala having more..

‘Stage II of South Asia’s leading e-company registration in the offing’

Jan 18 (Island) The second stage of South Asia’s most sophisticated, national scale electronic company registration will commence when SL’s Company Registrar activates it on Jan 21, Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons and Cooperative Development press release said. The release - "I commend the Registrar of Companies for completing the second stage of hi-tech registration system on time just as we promised in April 2018. more..

Thanthi joins Virakesari

Jan 18 (FT) Virakesari, the national Tamil language newspaper in Sri Lanka, has signed a collaborative agreement with Thinathanthi, having a daily circulation of over 1.8 million copies across India. The Thanthi group has TV and Radio besides print. Up-to-date news from the sub-continent and the world will now be available through the pages of Thanthi in the Virakesari. Besides news, there will also be articles of reader interest in the health, tourism, education and entertainment fields. more..

'Pathum can be our next Test opener'

Jan 18 (DN) Three months ago Pathum Nissanka Silva took a blow flush on his forehead while fielding at forward short leg from a powerful pull shot from England wicket-keeper/batsman Jos Buttler and lay prone on the field. The incident occurred on the final day of England’s two-day warm-up match against a Sri Lanka Cricket President’s XI played at the NCC grounds. "You always fear the worst, more..

Mohan challenges opponents to come clean

Jan 18 (CT) Mohan de Silva, who is vying for the post of President at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) at the forthcoming elections next month, is confident that his team will win the elections by a vast majority. “We are ready as a team to contest and win the elections by a vast majority, while obtaining over 100 votes,” de Silva said at the press conference held at the Gymkhana Club yesterday. De Silva also challenged anyone to come forward and face a free and fair election without more..

'SLC must hold election before 7 Feb'

Jan 18 (CT) “Sri Lanka Cricket should hold the election before 7 February 2019, otherwise Sri Lanka will have to wait till June 2020 to re-apply for ICC membership and re-establish the status of Sri Lanka Cricket,” said UPFA MP Thilanga Sumathipala. The Sports Ministry had informed Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday the election will be postponed to 21 February on the legal advice of the Attorney General. Earlier the election was scheduled to be held on 7 February 2019. more..