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Sri Lankans in Wuhan told to evacuate to safer areas

Jan 24 (DM) Foreign Relations Ministry has urgently informed the SL Embassy in Beijing to immediately contact the 40 SL students studying in the Wuhan Province as well as some SL nationals employed there, and make arrangements to evacuate them to safer areas as Chinese officials locked down the city following the rapid spread of the Wuhan Pneumonia. An urgent discussion between Higher Education Minister more..

Conservationists decry Sri Lankan decision to arm local groups against elephants

Jan 24 (GV) Activists in Sri Lanka are concerned after the government announced plans to issue firearms to a newly formed civil defence force tasked with protecting farmers from elephants. There are an estimated 7,500 wild elephants in SL and human-elephant conflict is a burning issue for local farmers. Elephant habitats are shrinking as humans are slowly encroaching on their roaming spaces. Having no place to go, these animals end up destroying crops in farmlands in their search for food. more..

SriLankan takes precautions to lessen risks of coronavirus outbreak

Jan 24 (AD) SriLankan Airlines has implemented a series of precautionary measures to mitigate the risks from the current coronavirus epidemic in the Far East, with the safety and well-being of its valued passengers and staff being of paramount importance. The cabin crew and other relevant staff of SriLankan Airlines have been briefed on the actions to be taken on board and at airports, especially in the Far East. Airline is also in contact with relevant aviation and health authorities more..

Yasantha Kodagoda approved as SC justice; AHMD Nawaz as Appeals Court President

Jan 24 (AD) Constitutional Council (CC) on Friday approved the recommendation to appoint President’s Counsel (PC) Yasantha Kodagoda as a Supreme Court justice. Prez Rajapaksa had made the recommendation to the Constitutional Council last week. PC Yasantha Kodagoda was appointed the President of Appeals Court on the 28th of March last year. The Prez recommended Mr. Kodagoda to the Supreme Court to fill more..

Census of population and housing in 2021

Jan 24 (AD) An extraordinary gazette notification has been issued pertaining to a census of population and housing that is scheduled to be conducted in 2021. Minister of Finance, Economy and Policy Development PM Mahinda Rajapaksa issued the extraordinary gazette notification yesterday, by virtue of the powers vested in him under Section 2 of Census Ordinance. Dept of Census and Statistics said that preliminary work with regard to the 15th census of population and housing in SL more..

BOI signs agreement with Knitline Apparels

Jan 24 (AD) Board of Investment of SL signed an Agreement with Knitline Apparels Ltd to set up a manufacturing plant. Knitline Apparels will be setting up a high tech garment factory specialized in the manufacturing of flat knit fashion apparel. Under this Agreement signed recently the Company will manufacture knitwear such as pullovers, dresses, sweaters and beanies in SL. The agreement was signed by Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman of the BoI & Riz Onies CEO of Knitline Apparels. more..

JVP demands action against all white-collar criminals behind bond scam,...

Jan 24 (EN) Armed with evidence presented in the recently-tabled forensic audit report, JVP demanded that former Central Bank governors Arjuna Mahendran and Ajith Nivaad Cabral be tried in court in connection with the so called bond scam. JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti, who chaired the COPE that probed the alleged bond scam, accused what he called a ring of white-collar criminals hailing from influential families of committing more..

Cops bust international gang moving ganja from AP to Sri Lanka

Jan 24 (TOI) Mahabubnagar police on Thusday busted an international ganja peddling racket and arrested four persons who were transporting the contraband from Andhra Pradesh to SL. Police seized 180 kilos of ganja worth Rs 21 lakh from the possession of the accused. The gang was using RFID tags to track the contraband during its transit across int'l waters. The arrested were identified as P Satish from Madurai, K Kalyan from Hyderabad, M Ajith of TN’s Theni and G Surendran more..

Judge wants writ application against Bathiudeen referred to different bench

Jan 24 (Island) Court of Appeal re-fixed for Jan 27, Writ Application filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice, complaining against the deforestation of the Wilpattu jungle. The petitioner had alleged that Rishad Bathiudeen, MP for Mannar District had attempted to settle Muslims in the area, as they had been allegedly displaced from the Northern Province. The deforestation, badly affects the environmental balance in the area. It is detrimental to the animal and the plant life in the area. more..

Rusirupala Tennakoon

Editing our souls for justice

Jan 24 (CT) Now that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a Presidential Committee to probe all allegations of crime committed by members of the former government during their tenure, the next few weeks will go into collecting data of such allegations and other related details that are necessary for the prosecution of such allegations. That in itself will see scores of people experienced in the specific types of cases being deployed to collect data. more..

Foundations of incivility

Jan 24 (FT) Lack of advanced political consciousness and democratic discipline can be considered as one of the main reasons for the crisis and the failure that SL is facing. This can be considered a situation that has prevailed since independence. SL gained independence without having to make a serious social struggle for it. None of the pioneering political leaders who emerged when Sri Lanka entered the modern age had any knowledge or deep understanding of more..

'Sajith reveals his political stand on Sunday'

Jan 24 (DM) Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa will reveal his future political stand to UNPers and UNF allies on Sunday January 26, UNP MP Ajith P. Perera said yesterday. MP Perera said Mr. Premadasa had already invited leaders of UNF, all MPs, Provincial Councillors, members of local bodies and party organisers for meeting at Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre where he will reveal his future political stand. more..

Most judges are without blemishes

Jan 24 (Island) There were more than 300 judges and most of them had not faced allegations; therefore one couldn’t say that all cases filed were wrong or judgements given were wrong, senior lawyer, Saliya Peiris PC said on Wednesday answering a question posed by a journalist during a panel discussion on the legal and ethical implications of recording phone calls organised by Centre for Journalism & Education (CJE). more..

Rayynor Silva challenges Hirunika & Ranjan to make allegations outside Parliament

Jan 24 (CT) Recently a spate of spurious allegations were levelled by UNF MPs, Ranjan Ramanayake and Hirunika Premachandra taking cover under Parliamentary privileges against Chairman of ABC Media Network Rayynor Silva and the Hiru media conglomerate, that the latter was engaged in the illegal drug trade. Silva has condemned the allegations levelled against him and his Media network. more..

Video: Sri Lanka can improve Corruption Perceptions Index rank: TISL

Jan 24 (AD) It is possible for Sri Lanka to improve its rank on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019, says the Manager of Research and Policy at Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) Maheshi Herat. Addressing a press conference on the CPI 2019 which was issued by Transparency International, Herat said the government has a responsibility in making an improvement in this regard. more..

Norochcholai third phase delay costs Rs250mn daily: Minister

Jan 24 (EN) The CEB is bearing a loss of 250 million rupees a day, due to delays in developing the third phase of the Norochcholai coal power plant. Mahinda Amaraweera said officials had informed him of the loss due to delays in developing the power plant, which has required costlier power purchases from the private sector. The minister said this in a meeting held at the ministry of Petroleum on Jan 23, 2020 to discuss about future projects. more..

Govt urged to clarify its stance on Geneva resolution

Jan 24 (Island) Federation of National Organizations (FNO), urged the govt to clarify its stand vis-a-vis controversial resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by the previous administration at the Geneva based UNHRC in Oct 2015. Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera, Dr. Wasantha Bandara and attorney-at-law-law Kalyananda Thiranagama on behalf of the FNO emphasized that the new administration owed an explanation in the wake of more..

Famed economist turns nostalgic with Return to SL: Travels in a paradoxical island

Jan 24 (FT) A day in early Dec 1977 is well etched in Razeen Sally’s memory. He was visiting the family’s estate bungalow named Razeena in Badulla and though only 12 years old at the time, there was foreboding that his carefree days spent with family and friends amidst the lush green tea bushes and bathing under waterfalls was coming to an end. There was in him a self-realisation he would not be back for some time. more..

Constructive talks between conservation groups and Minister of Wildlife

Jan 24 (FT) During a crucial meeting with several environmentalists today, Minister of Land, Land Development, Environment and Wildlife Resources agreed to issue a directive which would request that the relevant authorities refrain from providing more guns to the Civil Defense Force (CDF). The Minister also agreed to review the Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) mitigation strategy. The Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) teamed up with more..

CHEC violates permit conditions for vehicles

Jan 24 (DM) China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd- the contractual company of the Hambantota Port Project (Phase 1 and 2) has come under fire for allegedly violating conditions stipulated in the duty deferment permits granted to them by the Departments of Fiscal Policy and Trade, Tariff and Investment Policy of the Ministry of Finance and Planning. China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) was granted more..

Two unconventional politicians

Jan 24 (DM) Two political personalities; wholly different from each other and different to all others as well, are in the limelight now. One is former State Minister and now Opposition MP Ranjan Ramanayake whose membership was suspended by the UNP leadership a few days ago, while the other is the controversial former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the newly-elected President. more..

UNP on the Brink of Suicide

Jan 24 (DM) Apart from the UNP currently facing a severe problem caused by the phone-tapping by its Parliament Member Ranjan Ramanayake, the party seems to fail to resolve its infighting over its leadership before the forthcoming Parliamentary elections. The party has been holding discussion at various levels for the past several months on the issue, but it has always been back to square one after each discussion during which the final decision has been postponed, as if a ritual. more..

Media must honour privacy

Jan 24 (DM) Artiste turned lawmaker Ranjan Ramanayake’s revelations about alleged corrupt activities of politicians and businessmen through his voice recordings have raised questions about privacy of individuals. When two people engage in a telephone conversation, neither party would wish the other to record what’s said without consent. Ramanayake became notorious for such acts even when sitting at the head table at media briefings. Controversial MP has to his defence said more..

Sri Lanka may have lost Rs10.4bn from direct placement of bonds: forensic audit

Jan 24 (EN) Sri Lanka may have lost up between 9.9 to 10.4 billion rupees in over 1,100 direct placements of bonds made by-passing auctions, between 2005 and 2015, a forensic audit has estimated. The audit by BDO India was commissioned following a recommendation of a presidential commission of inquiry into so-called bondscams in 2015 and 2016 through rigged auctions. more..

Forensic Audits incomplete without relevant Annexures: Speaker

Jan 24 (Island) As per the directive by the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, the Secretary General of Parliament Dammika Dassanayake has informed Prof. W. D. Lakshman, the Governor of Central Bank that the reports of five Forensic Audits are incomplete without the relevant annexures and exhibits. The Secretary General has also informed the Governor of the CB as directed by the Speaker to take necessary action to make available complete audit reports to Parliament at the earliest. more..

Vidura promises legal action against those involved in DPJ building deal

Jan 24 (Island) State Minister Vidura Wickramanayake said that legal action would be instituted against those responsible for obtaining the DPJ building to house the agriculture ministry at a huge monthly rental. He said that his legal consultants were in the process of instituting legal action and housing the ministry in that particular building had in no way contributed to promoting agriculture. Minister said he believed several persons had benefited from the corrupt deal. more..

President instructs Acting IGP: Arrest only when absolutely necessary

Jan 24 (CT) As arrests were not a part of the punishment and results in the serious deprivation of liberty of citizens and other significant implications, such as loss of reputation and standing in society, arrests to be carried out only when absolutely necessary and upon a decision taken with utmost care and in strict compliance with the law, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed Acting IGP Senior DIG C. D. Wickramaratne. more..

Cabinet approves setting up power plants

Jan 24 (CT) Cabinet has approved a proposal to set up two 300 megawatt coal fired power plants in addition to setting up two Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) power plants in Kerawalapitiya to ensure uninterrupted power supply. According to a Cabinet Paper, the CEB was said to be facing difficulties in catering to the increasing demand due to delays in setting up proposed power plants. Therefore, to ensure uninterrupted power supply, two 300 megawatt coal fired power plants more..

'Ranjan took back CDs following legal advice'

Jan 24 (DM) Clarifying the position with regard to the tabling of CDs containing phone conversations of MP Ranjan Ramanayake, UNP MP Harsha De Silva said the former had to take the clips back after tabling it following legal advice. “I was informed on Wednesday that Mr. Ramanayake had tabled the CDs. I was also informed by him that he had handed over the CDs to the Secretary General of Parliament who had directed him to the Hansard Department. Mr Ramanayake had received legal advice more..

UNF on the verge of splitting for general elections

Jan 24 (DM) The former ruling United National Front (UNF) is on the verge of splitting up for the upcoming general elections with minority alliance members likely to contest under their own symbols due to the ongoing leadership battle between UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa. Already, alliance partners such as the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) has said that it will hold a meeting next Monday more..

Chinese company to assist Chinese tourists to get e-visa

Jan 24 (FT) Cabinet has approved a joint proposal by multiple ministries to allow a Chinese company to process visas for Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka in the Chinese language using the Electronic Travel Authorisation System (ETA). Dept of Emigration and Immigration follows the ETA since 2012 for issuance of visas to tourists from a range of countries wishing to travel to SL. However, Chinese tourists have found it difficult to use ETA as it is only available in English, minister Bandula Gunawardena said. more..

Five member police committee to probe Judge Gihan Pilapitiya case excerpts

Jan 24 (DM) Acting IGP C. D. Wickramaratne has appointed a special five-member committee to study the excerpts of an investigation into interdicted High Court Judge Gihan Pilapitiya over the phone recording case and make a recommendation to arrest him as per the Attorney General's instructions. The police said today that the AG has instructed the Director of the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) to name Judge Pilapitiya as the second suspect and obtain an arrest warrant over the case more..

Free trade zone of international universities on the cards for foreign students

Jan 24 (RN) The cabinet has green-lit a proposal to establish a BOI-approved free trade zone of international universities to attract foreign and non-resident students to the country. Minister Bandula Gunawardena told reporters today that the objective of the so called free trade zone (in the Minister’s words) is to make SL an international education hub home to branches of world-renowned universities. more..

Sri Lanka takes center stage at the TITF-2020 Tour Fair in Bangkok

Jan 24 (Island) The embassy of Sri Lanka in Bangkok-Thailand together with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), coordinated and facilitated the participation of twelve Sri Lankan travel and tour companies at the 26th Thai International Travel Fair (TITF) hosted by the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA) held from January 16-19, at the IMPACT Hall in Bangkok. The cultural troupe of the SL Army led by Cpt. Ajith Ruwanpura performed at the opening ceremony of TITF more..

Jetwing Hotels introduces exclusive east coast tour with Hiran Cooray and Len Porter

Jan 24 (Island) East Coast of SL is a region where tourism booms during May Sept when the waves that crash along the coastal towns of Arugambay and Pottuvil are eagerly sought after by surfers across the globe. To counter the widespread misconception of monsoon weather curbing visitation during November to April, Hiran Cooray, chairman, & Len Porter, director, Jetwing Symphony are ready to show guests a unique perspective to a land that has so much to discover. more..

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