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UN to act on report despite objections

Feb 26 (DM) The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is to implement recommendations in a report tabled at the UNHRC, despite objections raised by Sri Lanka. UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-nashif said that the report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, which was formally tabled at the Council on Wednesday, was amended to more..

People never expected such a report

Feb 26 (DM) The people of the country did not expect such a report from the PCoI appointed to probe the Easter Sunday attack, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. Minister is seen as a close confidante of former Prez. The commission, in its report, recommended legal action against Mr. Sirisena for neglect of duty. The Minister expressed these views at a media conference when journalists inquired regarding the allegations made against Mr. Sirisena. more..

Forest and Wildlife officers face punitive action for prosecuting culprits

Feb 26 (Island) Senior officers of the Dept of Wildlife Conservation and Forest Dept expressed concern over a directive that they should seek the State Ministry Secretary’s approval prior to taking legal actions against those who harm protected areas. Representatives of the two depts are attempting to meet Prez and PM to seek redress. An official said: “Some of our colleagues have been charge-sheeted for taking action against culprits who harmed the riverine forest habitats in Polonnaruwa more..

යාපන⁣ය රජ පෙළපතේ වත්මන් රජු

The end of an era of extremism

Feb 26 (FT) Professor Sirima Kiribamuna, making a lengthy review of the Mahavamsa, the great chronicle of Sri Lanka has extolled it as the culmination of the historical thinking of the ancient Sinhalese. Contrary to what Professor Kiribamuna has said, Mahavamsa cannot be considered as a book of history written for the purpose of recording the history of the Sinhalese race. It is more an account of the history of the Theravada Buddhism of Sri Lanka. more..

UNHRC resolution: What is the real agenda?

Feb 26 (FT) The US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken seems to give an indication as to what the real agenda behind his and his country’s support for this resolution. He speaks of lack of accountability for past atrocities. This statement implies that atrocities were committed if there is to be accountability for them. This leads to the question, who committed such alleged atrocities? There were two players in the battle against the LTTE. The SL Armed Forces and the LTTE. more..

Belarus says High Commissioner’s report one-sided

Feb 26 (CT) The report on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in SL, prepared by the Office of the Human Rights High Commissioner (OHCHR), was taken up for discussion, during the 46th session of the UNHRC, once again yesterday. Of the 38 countries that spoke during yesterday’s session, a majority of countries spoke in favour of supporting SL’s national processes to achieve reconciliation and more..

AG: Only section of PCoI report received, won’t be able to proceed without...

Feb 26 (Island) AG’s Dept said that a section of the PCoI report had been received by AG Dappula de Livera, PC. “The AG received the Volume 1, which contains the final report,” a spokesperson for the Dept said. According to the official the remaining volumes (2 to 5) containing proceedings, materials and other documentary evidence hadn’t been handed over, the official said. The official was responding to a query regarding the govt announcement that the final report of PCoI more..

India reiterates 13A implementation at UNHRC

Feb 26 (CT) India yesterday, at the ongoing UNHRC session, reiterated that its consistent position on Sri Lanka was to support SL’s unity and territorial integrity while abiding by the commitment to help fulfil the aspirations of the Tamils of SL for equality, justice & dignity. India’s Permanent Representative in Geneva, Indra Mani Pandey, said the Council has adopted seven resolutions on the question of human rights in SL since May 2009 when the 3-decade conflict in the country ended. more..

Gazette published allowing burial of Covid-19 victims

Feb 26 (AD) The Extraordinary Gazette notification allowing the burial of bodies of Covid-19 victims has been published. The gazette amends regulations made by the Minister of Health under Sections 2 and 3 of the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance (Chapter 222). It states that regulations published in Gazette No.7481 of Aug 28, 1925 is further amended by the substitution of the words, more..

COPE questions Litro on hiring of private audit company

Feb 26 (FT) Litro Gas Lanka and Litro Terminal SL, operating under SL Insurance Corporation (SLIC), have conducted their audits through a private company disregarding the Auditor General’s advice to have the audits conducted through them, the COPE heard this week. COPE members questioned on what grounds a private company, KPMG, was hired to conduct the audit solely on the decision of the Board of Directors when the AG had instructed the AG that there was no impediment more..

Central Bank issues circulation standard commemorative coin to mark 70th anniv.

Feb 26 (FT) To mark its 70th anniversary, the Central Bank has issued an uncirculated commemorative coin (aluminium bronze) in the denomination of Rs. 20 on 31 Dec 2020. Concurrently to the above, CBSL has also decided to issue a circulation standard commemorative coin (nickel plated steel) in the denomination of Rs. 20 with the same design of the uncirculated commemorative coin. The first coin was officially presented to Prez Rajapaksa by more..

466 COVID-19 patients detected

Feb 26 (FT) A total of 466 persons tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the country’s total patient count to 81,933. Of the patients detected yesterday, 464 were associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster. The triple clusters that emerged from Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda and Prisons have thus expanded to 77,827 patients. Total patient count includes 2,010 SL returnees from abroad, 950 Navy personnel & their contacts, more..

Son of businessman dies in fatal jump

Feb 26 (CT) The son of a well-known businessman who was being treated for a mental illness at Durdans Hospital in Colombo 3 had escaped from his hospital room situated on the 10th floor and jumped to his death at dawn yesterday, sources said. Police said the victim was 31 years old. The incident had taken place around 3 a.m. and the body of the youth was found on the 5th floor of the Hospital. A probe into the death has been initiated by Kollupitiya Police. more..

Two more Covid-19 deaths reported in SL

Feb 26 (AD) Director General of Health Services confirmed two more Covid-19 related deaths, increasing Sri Lanka’s death toll due to the virus to 459. One of the deceased is a 62-year-old woman from Kadawatha who had passed away on February 21 while being treated at the Colombo North Teaching Hospital. The Cause of death is mentioned as a heart disease and complicated diabetes with Covid-19 infection. The other victim is an 83-year-old woman from Wattala. more..

China reaffirms support for SL globally

Feb 26 (FT) China yesterday extended further reaffirmation and reassurance of support for SL globally. This was conveyed by Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a phone conversation on Wednesday with SL Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the latter’s request. Wang said that the two countries were strategic cooperative partners of sincere mutual assistance and lasting friendship. more..

Ceylinco Insurance introduces Insurance for Coconut growers

Feb 26 (DN) Sri Lanka Coconut Cultivators’ Association and the Ceylinco Insurance Company (CIC) under the guidance of the Coconut Development Authority (CDA) jointly launched a special Insurance scheme for the sector, which is a first for Sri Lanka. Under this novel insurance program Ceylinco Insurance proposes to compensate and provide a sustainable insurance solution to coconut cultivators on behalf of damages caused in various ways to their cultivations. more..

Who is to benefit from sudden gazette notification?

Feb 26 (TM) Is any individual benefitted unduly by the 19 Feb Extraordinary Gazette notification 2215/47, issued by Youth and Sports Ministry? It is all but interesting that the said notification was made, repealing a previous notification on the National Associations of Sports, just five days before nominations were called for Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) AGM, scheduled for 20 May. The said Extraordinary Gazette notification was issued, pertaining to Sports Law No. 25 of 1973, more..

UN rights body should ensure international accountability for grave crimes in Sri Lanka

Feb 26 (HRW) It is 11 years since tens of thousands of civilians were killed in the final months of SL’s civil war. Both parties to the conflict committed war crimes and other abuses for which no one has been held to account. For nearly a decade this Council has engaged SL, including landmark consensus resolutions since 2015 to support a national process of accountability and reconciliation. Last year, soon after Gotabaya Rajapaksa more..

Chronic delays in registering drugs; NMRA says it suffers from staff shortage

Feb 26 (ST) National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) this week admitted to chronic delays in registering locally manufactured and imported pharmaceuticals blaming it on staff shortage. The State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) has now offered to step in and help clear the backlog of hundreds of applications pending registration, some almost a year. NMRA CEO Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe said the NMRA was under-staffed and was waiting for Management Services Dept to approve more..

Property buyers returning to the market, industry says

Feb 26 (ST) Since the beginning of the year there has been an increase in real estate activity by property buyers and sellers, according to SL’s leading property portal LankaPropertyWeb. The company stated that a comparison between the number of visits to during the month of January in 2020 and 2021, showed an increase of 23% while leads generated to advertisers on the site increased by 20%. LankaPropertyWeb (LPW) also saw more..

T20I Captain Dasun Shanaka to miss entire WI series due to visa issue!

Feb 26 (TM) Sri Lanka’s newly appointed T20I Skipper Dasun Shanaka is to miss the entire three-match series in the West Indies. The all-rounder is presently entangled in a USA visa issue for he has allegedly lost one of his passports in 2018 containing USA visa for five years. The US Embassy in Sri Lanka is reportedly inquiring currently whether some other person had entered USA by forging Shanaka’s lost passport. more..

No positive response on vehicle imports from Minister: VIASL

Feb 26 (DM) There is no indication of a positive response on the statement made by State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal regarding the evaluation of the situation of allowing vehicle imports at the end of this year, the Vehicle Importers Association of SL (VIASL) said. While addressing the media VIASL Secretary Arosha Rodrigo said the State Minister had mentioned in his speech that no imports would be allowed during this year, but the Govt would evaluate the situation at the end of this year more..

Sri Lanka targeting US$32bn inflows and US$27bn outflows to repay debt: Minister

Feb 26 (EN) SL is expecting US$ 32 billion in inflows from exports of goods and services and financial inflows and outflows of US$ 27.6 billion leaving a 4.4 billion surplus to service debt, State Minister Nivard Cabraal said. “We can comfortably repay all the debt that is falling due,” Minister Cabraal said. “We are monitoring that carefully to ensure that they happen.” CB Governor W D Lakshman said there was US$ 3.7 billion of net debt to be paid, after discounting dollar debt held by residents. more..

Minister denies CESS on Timber Imports

Feb 26 (TM) Minister of Wildlife and Forest Conservation C.B. Ratnayake denies local media reports stating that a CESS has been imposed on the country’s timber imports in order to preserve local production. Minister stated that he did not announce any information regarding the alleged tax, thereby thoroughly rejecting local media reports. “No. There is no such tax that is currently implemented or going to be implemented. more..

Editorial: Probes: More queries than answers

Feb 26 (Island) PCoI that probed the Easter Sunday carnage can easily be bracketed with the PCoI on the Treasury bond scams; both have not dug deep enough to reveal the masterminds of the crimes they were tasked with investigating. Obviously, Hashim Zahran, described as the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) leader was only one of the attackers. NTJ stockpiled explosives, arms and ammunition sufficient for many attacks. It had a long-term strategy; it brainwashed children and more..

Unwarranted treatment of SL by UNHRC

Feb 26 (DN) Ironically, when the UNHRC Chief challenged the professionalism of the Sri Lankan Judiciary and called for an international judicial mechanism, a Presidential Commission appointed by a SL President recommended that the Attorney General consider criminal proceedings against the same President as the Commission was of the view that there is criminal liability on his part for acts or omissions and advised the AG to consider criminal proceedings against the President. more..

Cricket: A major player exodus!

Feb 26 (TM) Depressed, distressed, and disheartened, a large number of Sri Lanka national and first-class cricketers are planning to migrate to USA for professional cricket, sending shockwaves to country’s cricket future, The Morning learnt. “A lot of players will soon go to America. It will happen in two categories, as emerging and national. National player Shehan Jayasuriya has already gone. Around 15 more to follow him by March,” more..

Two politicians to contest VB elections

Feb 26 (DN) Two members of the present ruling party will be vying to hold office in the Volleyball Federation of SL (VFSL) when they conduct their AGM on April 4. The incumbent President of the VFSL Ranjith Siyambalapitiya who is also the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament and Senior Vice-President of the VFSL and former President of the Sabaragamuwa PC Kanchana Jayaratna will be eying the top post of the Federation. Minister Siyambalapitiya has submitted his more..

Tharanga joins Sri Lanka Legends

Feb 26 (CT) Retired opener Upul Tharanga is the latest addition to the Sri Lanka Legends team participating at the Road Safety World Series T20 tournament to be held in India next month. Earlier, former Sri Lanka skipper Sanath Jayasuriya, Russel Arnold, Nuwan Kulasekara and Dammika Prasad joined the team led by Thilakarathne Dilshan. The Road Safety World Series is an annual T20 cricket tournament organised to create awareness among the Indian public towards road safety. more..

UK resident rooting for SL street dogs

Feb 26 (Island) Samantha Green, CEO of Dogstar Foundation, was recently awarded a British Empire Medal for her services to animal welfare. The organization she founded, Dogstar Foundation works exclusively in SL operating a mobile sterilisation clinic to offer a humane dog population management programme. Dogstar has currently sterilised 45,802 dogs & 3,632 cats, carried out 67,284 rabies vaccinations. more..

Pakistan’s love of Sri Lanka

Feb 26 (Island) It was on 3rd Jan 1972 that our family arrived in Karachi from Moscow. Our departure from Moscow had been delayed for a few weeks due to the military confrontation between Pakistan and India. It ended on 16th Dec 1971. After that, international flights were not permitted for some time. The contrast between Moscow and Karachi was unbelievable. First and foremost, Moscow’s temperature was near minus 40 degrees centigrade, while in Karachi, it was sunny and more..

The real story of the people forced to stand in the line of fire

Feb 26 (CT) The proud national anthem of SL starts off with the words Namo, Namo Matha... unique is that it is a song of praise of the country alone. It does not specifically glorify any race, caste, creed, community or religion. It is non-partisan and appeals to the patriotism of all the people in Mother Lanka. Due to Sri Lanka’s strategic geographic position we were lucky to be spared from much of the world’s wars. Our own armies have not gone out solely on the intention to instill an act of terror or more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

SLC establishes women’s high-performance centre

Feb 26 (CT) SLC has established a dedicated Women’s High-Performance Centre with the aim of lifting the Women’s game to reach greater heights. The new Centre was established at the P. Sara Oval Cricket Stadium following an MoU signed with the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club. According to the MoU, the P. Sara Oval Ground, Side Wickets, Indoor Nets, Gymnasium, Swimming Pool and Dormitory facilities of Tamil Union will be used to develop the Women’s game. more..

Braving harsh repression, human rights defenders in the North soldier on

Feb 26 (GV) The sentiments are unanimous. Under Prez Rajapaksa’s presidency and govt, Sri Lanka’s human rights defenders in the north are being threatened, harassed and intimidated on a scale never experienced before. Interviews with several of them bear out the reality of what numerous reports by the UN and human rights agencies such as AI and HRW have been saying for over one year when the abandonment of truth, justice and the rule of law in Sri Lanka began in earnest. more..