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Five-member committee to probe activities of SLMC

Sep 16 (NR) Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi has appointed a 5-member committee to investigate the conduct of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). The committee comprises of Prof Hemantha Perera, Prof Prasantha Wijesinghe, Dr. Anula Wijesundera, Dr. Maithri Chandraratne and Dr. Darshana Sirisena. According to the Medical (Amd) Act, Minister of Health is the final decision-making authority of SLMC. more..

Navy foils smuggling attempt of 818kg of dried turmeric

Sep 16 (SLN) Naval operations led to the seizure of an 818kg consignment of dried turmeric attempted to be smuggled into the island by sea and apprehension of 02 suspects, today 16th Sept 2020. During a special operation, the North Central Naval Command managed to nab 02 suspects who were attempting to smuggle about 510kg of dried turmeric by a dinghy in the sea area north of Mannar. The consignment had been stuffed in 12 gunny sacks as they were recovered by naval personnel. more..

Lane regulations seek to ease traffic congestion

Sep 16 (NR) Director of the Police Traffic Division in Colombo DIG Sumith Nissanka says the implementation of the Traffic Lane Regulations and the Priority Bus Lane project is only an attempt to ease the traffic flow in the city during peak hours. DIG said police officers are not attempting to inconvenience any party through the new measure. While conforming that the regulations will be strictly enforced from Monday, DIG requested motorists to comply with law & help reduce congestion. more..

Violating COVID-19 guidelines: Epidemiology Chief demands tough legal action

Sep 16 (DN) Chief of the Epidemiology Unit, Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, warned that the National Operation Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 would have to advise the Govt to resort to legal measures to ensure that the public adhere to health safety rules implemented during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in SL. As it is, there were 3,262 patients who had been infected with COVID-19, more..

Appeals Court closes contempt of court application against Wigneswaran

Sep 16 (AD) Appeals Court has closed the contempt of court application against former Chief Minister of NPC MP C.V. Wigneswaran and two others as the prosecution and the defence managed to reach a settlement. The application was taken up before Appeals Court bench Mahinda Samayawardhane and Priyantha Fernando today. Attorney-at-Law Suren Fernando, representing the former Northern Province Minister of Fisheries, Transport, Trade and Rural Development B. Deniswaran, more..

M.K. Shivajilingam released on bail

Sep 16 (AD) Former NPC member M. K. Shivajilingam has been released on bail by Jaffna Magistrate’s Court. He was ordered released on a personal bail of Rs. 200,000. The case was postponed until Sept 25. Shivajilingam, who was arrested by the Kopay Police on Tuesday, was produced before Jaffna MC today. He was placed under arrest on Tuesday while participating in a commemoration ceremony to mark 33rd death anniversary of fmr LTTE member Thileepan, more..

Remembering SLMC Leader M.H.M. Ashraff

Sep 16 (FT) Today (16) is the 20th death anniversary of Mohammad Hussein Muhammad Ashraff, legendary leader of the SLMC. He was the Cabinet Minister in charge of Shipping, Ports, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation in the Govt of Prez Chandrika Kumaratunga at the time of his death. He, along with 14 others, was killed in an air crash on 16 Sept 2000. M.H.M. Ashraff had on that fateful morning boarded a SLAF Mi-17 more..

Contempt of Court: Web journo further remanded

Sep 16 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage, on 14 Sept, further remanded, till 24 Sept, the web journalist, who has been charged with Contempt of Court. The suspect was identified as Desmond Chathuranga de Alwis, who had been functioning as the Administrator of the website Lanka News Web ORG. CID informed Court that upon inspecting the house of the suspect, they had located two computers, two mobile phones and they had also discovered the laptop and more..

Online misinformation follows rare sighting of baby elephant twins in Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (AFP) After the rare sighting of twin elephant calves in SL in July 2020, misleading claims and old photographs have circulated on Facebook. Some posts falsely claim the SL pair were the first twin baby elephants born in South Asia. Other posts share images of elephants in South Africa, misrepresenting them as recent photos of the new baby elephants. The elephant twins were spotted in SL’s Minneriya national park in July 2020 and were named Bathiya&Baghya by conservationists. more..

Isn’t that a dainty dish to set before a king!

Sep 16 (FT) It is what it is. The 20th Amendment is a bill tailor-made for the Rajapaksa family. Like the brand new Weeraketiya exit on the Southern Highway. The Weeraketiya exit was not in the Southern Highway’s original plan or blueprint. It was constructed, reportedly at a risky bent, in three days, with no environmental impact assessment. That exit has only one reason to exist, to make it easier and faster for the Rajapaksa family more..

COVID-19 chicanery continues

Sep 16 (FT) We need to get our heads and hearts and expectations reoriented if ever global travel and tourism and other normalities are to have a fighting chance to keep pace with the encouraging COVID realities and numbers on the ground. We also must immunise ourselves from groundless panic if small surges take place in winter months, or when borders are open. We need to understand case load and viral load, and as I’ve written, ensure our tests are modulated accordingly. more..

Extracting oil, natural gas possible in my tenure: Minister

Sep 16 (DN) Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila said extraction of petroleum oil or natural gas in Sri Lanka will begin before he contests the next Parliamentary election. SL has oil and gas sources discovered. If the production of oil within the country is successful, it is possible to generate and provide employment for nearly 1.5 million Sri Lankans who are currently working in the Middle East, he said. The Minister stated this during his visit to the Mahanayake Theras of more..

පා.ම මුජිබර් රහුමාන්

Our political system is neither democratic nor autocratic

Sep 16 (FT) Having ended a 30-year war in 2009, we are still struggling to achieve economic stability, rule of law and a well-functioning democratic state. Both MR and Yahapalana leaders with vested interests, in a game of democratic bluffing, had refused to seize the opportunities. They should stop destroying democratic governance any further. We urge them to now assure checks and balances, accountability, socio-economic development, after eleven years of deadly conflict. more..

BOI signs agreement to set up a Sea Cucumber Processing factory

Sep 16 (AD) The Board of Investment has signed an agreement with Suganth Seafood (Pvt) Ltd to set up a Sea Cucumber processing factory for the export market. The agreement was signed on behalf of BOI by Mr Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman of the Board and on behalf of Suganth Seafood by Suganthaseelan Aravinthan, Managing Director. The project, with an initial investment of US$ 1.2 Million will be set up in Jaffna. The product Sea Cucumber is harvested mainly in North & East sea belt more..

20A will not be redrafted

Sep 16 (DM) The govt will not redraft the 20th Amendment, but will incorporate any changes proposed by the 9-member committee only during the committee stage of the debate, a top source said. The committee which studied the 20th Amendment submitted its report to PM Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday. The govt has sought to enact the 20th Amendment primarily to roll back the 19th Amendment empowering the Prez further. more..

Meet Easter attack mastermind

Sep 16 (CT) Nawfer Maulavi, theoretician of the National Thowheed Jama’ath (NTJ), who masterminded the Easter Sunday terror attacks, appeared before the PCoI. He was questioned by the PCoI Police Unit, for about 6 hours on instructions of the Commission. Testifying before the Commission on 28 July, former Director of State Intelligence Service, SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena revealed that Nawfer Maulavi had been identified as the mastermind of the terror attacks. more..

Aruwakkalu sanitary garbage dump to be ready next September

Sep 16 (DN) Work on the Puttalam, Aruwakkalu Sanitary Garbage Dump will be expedited as a scientific and eco-friendly solution to the garbage problem. Accordingly, 1,200 tonnes of garbage per day will be deposited at the Aruwakkalu Scientific Sanitary Garbage Dump and the Colombo Metropolitan Solid Disposal (Metro Colombo Solid Waste Management) project will be completed in Sept 2021. Garbage will be taken to Aruwakkalu, 160km away from Kelaniya by a special train. more..

Former intel. chiefs reveal national security flaws at PCoI on Easter attacks

Sep 16 (AD) The PCoI investigating the Easter Sunday Attacks, heard evidence on Monday from two former intelligence service chiefs – Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena and Retired DIG Sisira Mendis – who exposed a lack of responsibility and leadership in the country’s national security establishment. During their individual testimonies, the subject of whose responsibility it was to take up the foreign intelligence warning of an imminent attack more..

Workers’ remittances up 12.2% in July

Sep 16 (AD) A substantial increase was observed in workers’ remittances in July 2020, recording the highest amount of monthly remittances since Jan 2018, Central Bank said in its latest report. Workers’ remittances continued to increase, recording a growth of 12.2% in July 2020, year-on-year, to US$ 702 million. However, on a cumulative basis, workers’ remittances declined by 5.5% to US$ 3,682 million during the period Jan-July 2020, in comparison to corresponding period of 2019. more..

GDP to contract -5.8% in 2020: First Capital

Sep 16 (TM) First Capital Research (FCR) estimated that SL’s GDP would see its steepest contraction in history of -5.8% in 2020 following the unexpected contraction in Q1 GDP growth of -1.6%. Amidst the lack of demand for credit, import restrictions, and the slowness in recovery of consumer demand, GDP growth would turn positive only by Q4 2020, FCR notes in its Mid-Year Outlook 2020. It forecasts a W-shaped recovery as opposed to a V-shaped recovery as GDP growth may continue to more..

SL has potential to become one of world’s leading maritime hubs: Prez tells Officials

Sep 16 (PMD) Prez Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka can use its unique locational advantage to become one of the world’s leading maritime hubs. Prez pointed out that development goals could be achieved speedily by developing our ports facilities by emulating the world’s most advanced ports as examples. Prez emphasized the need to develop our ports to a higher level that would make them capable of attracting world’s largest cargo more..

SJB has mixed feelings on Ruwan’s appointment

Sep 16 (DM) SJB MPs appear to have mixed feelings on the election of Ruwan Wijewardene as the Deputy Leader of UNP. SJB MP J.C. Alawatuwala, when asked for his views on the appointment of the UNP's new deputy leader said his party was not too concerned about the UNP because the people have chosen his party as the main opposition in Parliament. “The people have given a clear verdict by electing more than 50 MPs from out party to Parliament while more..

Resumption of international cricket: Ball on Health Ministry court

Sep 16 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has made an appeal to Health Ministry to relax safety guidelines in a bid to resume int'l cricket in the island. Bangladesh’s three Test tour to the country is in serious doubt after the tourists raised objections against the two week quarantine requirement on arrival. SLC had taken great efforts to resume international cricket but strict guidelines by the Health Ministry has left them in quandary. After discussions between SLC chief Shammi Silva more..

70% of electricity demand will be generated using renewable energy by 2030

Sep 16 (PMD) President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa directed that the plans should be devised to meet 70% of the country’s electricity demand using renewable energy sources by the year 2030. Due to climatic changes, all countries across the globe are inclined towards the usage of renewable sources of energy abandoning fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum. Annual increment demand for electricity is at 6%. It has been calculated that more..

Namal set to put Basketball House in order

Sep 16 (CT) It is no secret that basketball in the country has experienced setbacks in the recent past. However, experts in the field point out that there had been a few reasons that had a direct impact on the sport leading to the lean patch in recent years. In this background Ceylon Today learns that the relevant parties had lodged an official complaint with Minister of Sports Namal Rajapaksa, which the Minister had passed on to the legal unit of the National Sports Council yesterday. more..

Blue Ocean directors’ passports impounded

Sep 16 (FT) The directors of Blue Ocean Breeze Ltd. had strict bail conditions imposed on them, as well as having their passports impounded, by the Mount Lavinia Magistrate yesterday. The two directors were accused of cheating and criminal breach of trust for a sum of money amounting to Rs. 275 million, after they failed to hand over an apartment to one Leon Rasiah, a purchaser. Rasiah filed a Private Plaint before the Mount Lavinia Magistrates Court, detailing that Thumilans, more..

5 UN rapporteurs raise concerns with Govt on harassment of journalist Dharisha

Sep 16 (FT) Five UN Special Rapporteurs have written to Govt of SL, raising serious concerns that journalist Dharisha Bastians is being targeted for her writing and especially for her work to defend human rights, saying the continued harassment could deter other journalists from reporting on issues of public interest and human rights. UN Special Rapporteurs holding mandates for freedom of expression, privacy, more..

MAGA starts work on Rs. 3.1 b housing complex of 624 units at Narahenpita

Sep 16 (FT) MAGA has started construction work on an 11-storey 624-unit housing complex in Colombage Mawatha, Narahenpita, under the initiative of the UDA. MAGA is engaged as a design and build contractor to complete construction of the housing complex funded by the Govt and the AIIB. Covering a total floor area of 394,062 sqft, the building will have 624 fully-equipped housing units. The project, contract value of which is Rs. 3.1 billion will be completed in May 2023. more..

Different Discovery Indoor Cricket Academy begins operation

Sep 16 (ST) Different Discovery Indoor Cricket Academy (; a purpose-built high performance indoor-cricket centre located close to BIA, in the outskirts of Katunayake city was opened and led the first membership drive on Aug 29. It comprises up-to-date features and facilities that provide a high-performance coaching for future Sri Lankan cricketers. Coaches are qualified with ICC Global Levels to provide the finest coaching programs designed for all-levels. more..

Public outrage bears some result over auctioning of retired police dogs

Sep 16 (Island) Police Dept was planning to get its Kandy Kennel to work with animal welfare activists to improve the quality of life of the dogs retired from the police force, an official told The Island. The decision was taken after the outrage caused over the auctioning of 25 Police sniffer dogs. Animal rights groups have even written to Prez Rajapaksa regarding the matter, he said. A number of irate animal rights groups wrote to more..

Fees waived to attract cargo flights to Mattala

Sep 16 (CT) It has been observed that due to the lack of facilities at Mattala Int'l Airport (MIA), most logistic and shipping companies are showing little interest in making their cargo arrivals to the airport; creating a huge loss to the country. In this backdrop, a Gazette Notification was issued; waiving charges, to land and park airplanes at MIA, for one year. Secretary to Ministry of Tourism S. Hettiarachchi said that they hope companies will land their freight in MIA once charges are waived. more..

REITS powering power projects

Sep 16 (ST) Energy infrastructure qualifies as real estate assets for REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) or firms that own/finance income-producing real estate across a range of property sectors and now REIT investments, officials said. REITs rules approved by the SEC permitting real estate developers and owners to convert fully completed properties into REITs on July 31 are clearly recognising the business case for utilising energy infrastructure such as power plants, more..

Nivard nudges biz community to invest

Sep 16 (FT) State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal nudged local investors and business community to have faith in a turnaround of the economy and SL’s fortunes, as the new Govt has already set in motion, and will implement in the future, favourable measures and policies. “We are confident of high growth in the next five years, despite the challenges. We have and will put the necessary building blocks for a conducive environment more..

Beef U-turn: Restaurants relieved

Sep 16 (TM) Colombo restaurant owners are breathing a sigh of relief following the Government’s decision to delay the islandwide cattle slaughter ban by a month. Speaking to us, Colombo City Restaurant Collective (CCRC) President Harpo Gooneratne stated that it was a good move to postpone the ban, as the hospitality industry will have a hard time adjusting to such a move. “This is excellent news. We hope they reconsider and do not go through with the ban, because otherwise more..

Murder convict in Parliament

Sep 16 (Island) I must candidly say that I am disappointed as our politicians act without much foresight in their efforts to please acolytes who were loyal to them at the expense of good order and in the process defame the national legislature. Mark Twain said that politicians must be changed like diapers often and for the same reason. Yes, such change took place recently; sadly the majority came from the same caboodle that rotate and cling to the legislature. more..