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FUTA don suspended for sexual abuse

Mar 5 (NS) A Head of a Department attached to the Sri Palee Campus of the University of Colombo, against whom allegations of sexual harassment had been levelled by two newly recruited female lecturers, has been suspended, sources said. FUTA noted that although they had not been officially informed yet, they were aware of the allegations and the fact that there had been some problems involving the reported lecturer. more..

Squad change looms before world T20?

Mar 5 (CT) After Sri Lanka’s shock defeat at the hands of Bangladesh and against India in the ongoing Asia Cup T20 Cricket Tournament, there were much questions raised over the selection of the team as the batting unit did not click well during the tournament. Nevertheless, there’s still a chance for changing the ICC World T20 Squad for the eight Full Member Nations who will take part in the second round of the tournament till 8 March for reasons either technical or medical. more..

Sweet memories of helping plant trees in Sri Lanka came flooding back

Mar 5 (ST) 20 years ago, I was wearing hand-sewn floral dresses and working as an agricultural volunteer in Pilikuththuwa, Sri Lanka. My short stint working on a kibbutz (an Israeli communal farming settlement) a few years before gave me the expertise to go from Brooklyn, New York, to a small village in Sri Lanka. I quickly realized their thumbs were far greener than mine. Most days I spent looking for shady spots and drinking hot tea with fresh pieces of ginger floating on top, more..

Docs call for feasibility study on Indian ambulance service

Mar 5 (Island) Secretary of GMOA Dr. Nalinda Herath urged govt to carry out a feasibility study on the proposed Indian ambulance service. He said that though the Cabinet approval had been granted for the Indian Private owned Ambulance service to function under the SL Health Ministry, recruitment, transfers of personnel of the Ambulance service would be carried out by the Indian owners. Out of the eleven member supervisory board, more..

Malaysia to hire Sri Lankan guards

Mar 5 (TS) The ruling that only Nepalis can be hired as security guards may soon be lifted to allow foreigners from other source countries to take on the job. Deputy Minister Datuk Mohamed said the review of the decade-old policy comes in light of recent nationwide operations to weed out illegals, including those hired as security guards. “We may have to look at other source countries that have a good supply of security guards with military background, such as Sri Lanka. more..

'Police using faulty breathalyzers'

Mar 5 (DM) Lawyers for Good Governance have complained to Govt Analyst that the measures used by the Police to identify drunken drivers were not accurate. They said sub-standard breathalyzers were used by violating the instructions of the govt Analyst on quality measurements. Lawyers said the technical specifications issued by Traffic Police ASP W.D.A. Dananjaya on July 15, 2011 was flawed, because the expiry date must be displayed on the breathalyzer. more..

Video: Acting IGP seeks report over allegations on Champika

Mar 5 (DM) Two eyewitnesses of the controversial Rajagiriya accident had arrived at the Police Head Quarters today and handed over a written complaint where they had stated that the driver of the jeep at the time of the accident was Minister Champika Ranawaka. Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said Acting IGP Senior DIG S.M. Wickremesinghe had informed the police to send the written statements to more..

Gnanasara Thera ties pirith noola on Dematagoda Chaminda's wrist

Mar 5 (DN) BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera who came to Colombo National Hospital yesterday, tied a pirith noola on the wrist of underworld gangster Dematagoda Chaminda, an accused in Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra murder. He was among the 11 bhikkhus who visited Dematagoda Chaminda at the Colombo National Hospital. Chaminda sustained injuries when he was shot at while being taken to the Welikada prisons in a prison bus. more..

Mass public action

Mar 5 (CT) JVP has warned the govt that it will block the six major entry points to the metropolis and stage a massive protest by the end of March, if the current administration fails to resolve the burning issues of farmers countrywide. JVP politburo member Namal Karunaratne charged the govt was still pandering to the wishes of the IMF, continuing the trends of Rajapaksa regime. He also charged that on the pretext of cutting down on State expenses, govt was curtailing concessions, more..

Thilanga to face COPE

Mar 5 (CT) For the first time in history a Deputy Speaker of Parliament has been summoned for questioning by the COPE. Deputy Speaker MP Thilanga Sumathipala is scheduled to appear before COPE on 8 March. The Board of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has also been summoned by COPE to appear before it on the same day that its President SLFP National List MP Sumathipala is slated to go before the Committee, which is more..

Teachers in NCP take to the streets

Mar 5 (LT) Teachers in North Central Province held an agitation in Anuradhapura town demanding that foreign tours spending Rs.3.9 million should be stopped, the teachers who teach more than 260,000 students should be paid their arrears and they be given their due promotions. General Secretary of Lanka Teacher Services Union Mahinda Jayasinghe said arrears for 30 months of teachers in North Central Province have been slashed, their promotions have not been formalized more..

Palestinians invest in grape cultivation in SL

Mar 5 (FT) On the initiative taken by Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Palestine Fawzan Anver, a leading investment group in Palestine has consented to invest in Sri Lanka on grape cultivation. In this regard, a delegation comprising Al-Nabali Al Faris Investment Group from Palestine visited Sri Lanka along with Anver and had a discussion with President Sirisena recently. At the meeting, a proposal to cultivate grape in 700 acres of land was submitted and President had directed more..

Court dismisses appeal by Lanka Hospital Corporation Ltd.

Mar 5 (DN) Colombo Civil Appellate High Court has dismissed an appeal filed by Lanka Hospital Corporation Limited that challenged the District Court's order to pay compensation of Rs. 5 million to a resident in Negombo whose leg had to be amputated due to alleged negligence on the part of the hospital authority. While ordering to dismiss the Appeal, High Court of Civil Appeal Bench comprising Judge M. Samayawardena and more..

Ranjan rolls in new evidence against Avant Garde

Mar 5 (DN) Minister Ranjan Ramanayaka showed up at the Bribery Commission with fresh documents which he said would shed light on Avant Garde corruption allegations which he had levelled against it over a Rs. 5 million money transaction. He said that the Avant Garde Security Services Company chiefs had tried to bribe govt ministers to carry out their illegal arms trade. Ramanayaka, now a member of the COPE, said he received more information on malpractices and corruption more..

Kuliyapitiya child to be admitted to Trinity?

Mar 5 (DN) Discussions are underway to get the child in Kuliyapitiya who was denied school admission due to a false rumour of being infected with HIV, to Trinity College, Kandy. Members of a group of Old Boys Association of Trinity College are discussing with the Past Students' Union to seek the possibility of getting the child admitted to Trinity College. The child's mother has also been informed by a group of old boys of Trinity College about the move. more..

Cabinet mulls comprehensive tax reforms

Mar 5 (DN) In a bid to increase the tax income from 10 to 20%, the Cabinet of Ministers focused on a comprehensive tax revision at a special Cabinet meeting held under President Sirisena's patronage yesterday. Ministers agreed to increase the tax on certain items which do not directly affect the day to day life of the people. Cabinet extensively discussed about urgent tax revisions as the gov is burdened with many loans obtained by more..

How the agro-chemical racket started

Mar 5 (DM) In our editorial yesterday, the Daily Mirror focused on what may be an important turning point in Sri Lanka’s history-- the mission to make Sri Lanka a Wasa visa nathi country by gradually switching from agro-chemicals to organic fertilizer for agriculture. National Farmers’ Association leader and JVP member Namal Karunaratne, in a TV interview on Friday acknowledged that farmers were aware that the imported agro chemicals were poisoning Mother Earth and more..

Muslim council and Merger of provinces no longer valid

Mar 5 (DM) One who is cognizant of the history of the Muslim provincial council concept might have definitely been perplexed over the inordinate concern by some people about the statement made by SLMC Chairman Basheer Segu Dawood on Feb 20 at a meeting held in Kattankudi that his party demanded a non-contiguous Muslim Provincial council. The concern is inordinate because this concept is exactly thirty years old and has been put forward by various politicians of the SLMC more..

Chaos in Kurunegala over child’s admission to a school

Mar 5 (DM) The need of education for every child is mentioned in the UNHCR mandate, and also the UNICEF policy on children’s education is quoted as thus, “We are committed to ensuring that all children – regardless of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background or circumstances – realize their right to a quality education. To that end, UNICEF supports innovative programmes and initiatives that focus on more..

External factors affect poverty reduction?

Mar 5 (SL) Recent research conducted by the World Bank research body has noted that the last decade has recorded a significant reduction in poverty in Sri Lanka while the Census and Statistics Department has stated that the level of poverty reduction in the country has been affected by certain external factors. The above research report reflects on the poverty variation in Sri Lanka through the past decade (2002 – 2012/2013) more..

Indian HC tosses diplomacy to the wind

Mar 5 (Island) Indian High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha yesterday castigated the Joint Opposition for on-going protests against the proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). Sinha also expressed disappointment and surprise at the role played by former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa in the growing protest campaign. more..

Songwriters, composers’ works brazenly abused

Mar 5 (ST) During his lifetime, acclaimed lyricist Premakeerthi de Alwis wrote a vast repertoire of songs. Hundreds of them are still performed on local and international stages, aired over electronic media and used in films and on reality shows. But there is a problem. Premakeerthi’s dependents are paid next to nothing for his songs. Nirmala, his widow, says she is not sent royalties by persons or organisations that exploit his work for more..

Police in unique move to tackle rising road fatalities

Mar 5 (EN) After failing to implement basic lane discipline, Police has come up with a unique way to reduce fatal accidents - in future all passengers will be criminally prosecuted along with offending drivers. The first test case is reported from Opanayake in the Ratnapura district where the passenger of an army jeep was arrested and remanded because his driver was involved in an accident that killed a 5-year-old girl on more..

Capital gains tax to be reintroduced

Mar 5 (DM) After taking stock of the economy in the backdrop of the uncertain global environment, the Cabinet, at a special meeting yesterday, approved new tax reforms including the introduction of Capital Gain Tax to arrest the gradual decline of state revenue. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe submitted a paper at the special Cabinet meeting held in this regard with in-depth reference to the present status of economy. more..

IMF delegation due here by mid-March

Mar 5 (DM) Against the backdrop of increased liabilities of the govt, a delegation of the IMF is due here by mid this month to carry out a forensic audit on the arrears and other liabilities of the govt, it is learnt. According to a Cabinet paper submitted by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at the special meeting yesterday, the IMF has agreed to a request by the government to identify ways and means to manage the expenditure arrears. more..

Solutions for Rathupaswala issue before April 5

Mar 5 (AD) Secretary to the President P. B. Abeykoon has assured that steps will be taken to provide solutions to Rathupaswala issue before April 5, 2016. Rathpaswala people will get solutions to their issues as a result of a request made by them through Tell the President program. Responding to a request they made by calling 1919, President Maithripala Sirisena directed the officials to hold a meeting more..

Police commence special operations to tackle underworld groups

Mar 5 (AD) The Police Department has launched special operations, under the direct supervision of Senior DIG Western Province Pujith Jayasundara, since this morning to eradicate underworld groups which are rapidly raising their heads and spreading violence in the country. Accordingly, a total of 102 mobile roadblocks have been placed within the Colombo police division to search individuals and vehicles. more..

Lacille’s removal: Did expose of Justice Ministry deal, too, influence govt move

Mar 5 (Island) High profile investigations into setting up of an International Arbitration Centre (IAC) as well as thwarting of an alleged attempt by Lanka Sathosa Limited to release a consignment of rice rotting in storage facilities are widely believed to have influenced the controversial government decision to remove Lacille de Silva, Secretary to PRECIFAC. The IAC project was launched in 2012 by more..

Culpability of public servants acting under orders

Mar 5 (CT) As a retired public servant, I am concerned with actions being taken currently against some of my former colleagues in the Public Service. I make no bones if they are being dealt with for acts of commission or omission taken on their own. But some indictments appear to be on actions taken under superior orders. That context places their cases under the Nuremberg Principle: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve more..

Pregnant woman injured in shooting outside Welikada Prison

Mar 5 (AD) A pregnant woman was wounded and rushed to the Colombo National Hospital following a shooting incident near the Welikada Prison in Borella. The incident had occurred at around 3.50pm today opposite the Welikada Prisons. A woman who had come to visit a prison inmate was injured in the shooting, the police spokesman’s office said. She is currently receiving treatment in the ICU of the National Hospital. Welikada Police have commenced an investigation into the incident. more..

Minister Faizer Mustapha

Trains delayed as car travels on railway track

Mar 5 (DM) Four scheduled trains on the main railway line were delayed early yesterday from 3.30 am as a small car was travelling along the railway track towards Giriulla from Mirigama. The car had travelled along the track for about 10 metres. It was revealed that the motor car was driven on the rail track from the Wilwatta level crossing as its driver had fallen asleep. Driver of the car was remanded after being taken into custody and produced in court, Mirigama Police said. more..

Elevated Highways: How feasible are they?

Mar 5 (CT) Cabinet approved the construction of two elevated highways, one a 6.9 km link from the Kelani Bridge to Rajagiriya, with access to the Outer Circular Road via Battaramulla, Malabe, and Athurugiriya, and the other a 5.8 km link from the Kelani Bridge up to Colombo Harbour, in a bid to ease traffic congestion in the City of Colombo. Heavy vehicular traffic on Colombo roads has become a serious concern for commuters as well as the authorities, particularly during peak hours. more..

Where careless drivers kill animals

Mar 5 (CT) It is true that a nation's development includes improving its network of highways and minor road networks. It is regrettable however that by constructing roadways in an arbitrary and unfair manner that causes gaps in contiguous forests and other natural habitats of wild animals destroys their centuries-old homes and depriving them of the food resources in the alienated areas. The road cutting through Maduru Oya more..

Cabinet Ministers not above the law

Mar 5 (CT) Dramatic turn of events were exposed in Ceylon Today (3) by two young men after giving chase to a black SUV jeep that attempted to escape and run, after hitting two motorcyclists in Welikada, Borella, last Sunday, under the headline Eyewitness Reveals Champika in Hit-and Run Drama. The news story, which has already gone viral, gives two conflicting statements. The two young men, after giving chase to the black jeep that sped away after the accident, swear by their statements more..

Fresh Think Tank to steer SMEs

Mar 5 (NS) Govt which has already launched a SME Policy Framework, is planning to set up an Advisory Council comprising of a Think Tank at the National Level to strategise the promotion and development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), informed sources said. The island’s SME’s, widely regarded as the backbone of the economy is estimated to account for more than 75% of the total number of enterprises providing 45% of the employment and contributes to 52% of the GDP. more..

Vidya’s murder was a revenge killing: CID

Mar 5 (ST) CID which conducted in depth investigations into the rape and murder of a school girl in Poonkudutheevu, Jaffna informed the courts that incident was organized as revenge over a love affair. Submitting the report, Head of the Investigation team I.P. Nishantha told the Delft Magistrate that six suspects who are in custody were directly involved in the rape and the rest assisted them in various ways. more..

Free higher education denied to 124,000 eligible students: Grero

Mar 5 (Island) Sri Lanka was blessed with a free education system but only 26,000 out 150,000 students who passed the GCE A/L could gain admission to universities annually, State Minister Mohan Lal Grero said. Addressing a meeting of representatives of private educational institutes at Hilton Residencies, he said that only about 83 percent of the students eligible for university education were left out. Govt was spending Rs 62 billion annually on university students, more..

Navy apprehends fifteen local fishermen for illegal fishing

Mar 5 (ST) At least 15 Srilankan fishermen were arrested this week alone for engaging in illegal fishing activities in lankan waters, Navy said. Naval troops attached to SLNS Therapuththa in Mannar, apprehended three Sri Lankan fishermen along with a Fiber Glass Dinghy while engaging in illegal fishing in the waters of Silawathura on Wednesday. During the raid 10 oxygen cylinders, 2 diving masks, 4 pairs of diving fins, 2 lobsters and 60 sea cucumbers were also apprehended. more..

Indian envoy rebuts misconceptions and canards about economic pact

Mar 5 (ENS) Indian High Commissioner, Y.K. Sinha, has strongly rebutted misconceptions and canards about the proposed Indo-Lanka Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) and the Indian-aided Emergency Ambulance Service. Speaking at the Indo-Lankan Workshop on Non Tariff Measures and Increasing Awareness of Indian Standards and Regulations under Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement more..