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Ginnen Upan Seethala: Rohana Wijeweera’s belated funeral

Feb 10 (Island) Ginnen Upan Seethala which has been translated into English as The frozen fire is a film based on the life of Rohana Wijeweera, the founder of the JVP, which is now being screened in cinemas across the island. The release of this film was accompanied by a lot of hype. It was said that this film had been one of the two Sri Lankan films selected to vie for awards at the 91st Oscars. The other film so selected was According to Mathew directed by Chandran Ratnam. more..

‘China’s BRI offers enormous opportunities for Sri Lanka’

Feb 10 (SO) China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) offers enormous opportunities for Sri Lanka to develop trade and promote investments as it has brought about trade between China and Pakistan alone to almost Sri Lanka’s GDP of US$ 80 billion, panellists told a forum on The BRI and its implications for Sri Lanka. It was organised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and the Post-Graduate Institute Management (PIM) and held at the PIM auditorium last week. more..

Will there be a change of fortunes for Lankans?

Feb 10 (ST) After an awful and bitter 0-2 Test series defeat in Australia, the Sri Lankans have landed in Durban, South Africa with usual hopes of winning, this time sans regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal. The two-match Test series will begin on Wednesday at Kingsmead, Durban, under stand-in skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and without six regulars. The ones who will miss the South African safari are skipper Chandimal, more..

Mahinda meets Tamil journalists

Feb 10 (CT) Leader of the Opposition and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa held an interactive `breakfast’ meeting with senior Tamil print and electronic media journalists at his residence at Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo on Tuesday (5). It was a couple of hours before the meeting Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapsksa had extended birthday wishes to his predecessor and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader R. Sampanthan who turned 86 years on 5 February. more..

When Mahanama nudged Gurusinha

Feb 10 (SO) Many schoolboy cricketers have made it to the top and excelled in international cricket, but sporting a national cap at the age of 19 years is something unique and admirable. Only a few cricketers have had the distinction of achieving that rare and memorable feat. Asanka Gurusinha is one of those cherished cricketers who have shown his might and achieved that distinction. He is only the second Nalandian to be adjudged Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year after Roshan more..

Sports Ministry calls for report on misuse of accreditation from NOC

Feb 10 (ST) Sports Ministry has called for a comprehensive report from the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOC) about reports that it misused accreditations for last year’s Commonwealth Games. The Ministry directive comes after the Sports Minister received a written complaint that the NOC granted official accreditation to the wife of Mahinda Liyanage, then President of the SL Aquatic Sports Union, more..

NSF facilitates application of sports science research in Sri Lanka

Feb 10 (Island) National Science Foundation (NSF) conducted a highly insightful knowledge sharing session for local sports administrators, trainers and ground-level practitioners, sharing eye-opening results of a three-year research on the exercise physiology of SL athletes. The results indicate that Sri Lanka’s national level athletes and their custodians lack proper guidance and direction in how to apply science research findings and technology to improve athletic performances, more..

Netball head disregards call for election citing World Cup

Feb 10 (SO) A special general meeting will be held today to discuss the holding of an election to the Sri Lanka Netball Federation after sports minister Harin Fernando called on all parties to hold the poll in accordance with the Sports Law. Several district associations made complaints over the postponement of the election. A netball official said that the current administration of netball was contemplating even further postponing the election for no valid reason. more..

Funerals of Sri Lankan Peacekeepers held with military honours

Feb 10 (MoD) The last rites of the two Sri Lankan Peacekeepers were conducted amidst full military honours on Thursday (7). The funerals of late Major H.W.D Jayawickrama of 11 SL Light Infantry of Polonnaruwa and Sergeant S.S Wijekumara of 1 Mechanized Infantry Regiment (MIR) of Thalakolawewa, Polpithigama were held at Abhayapura General Cemetery in Polonnaruwa and Rawa Ela General Cemetery in Polpithigama, more..

Angelo Perera: Last word in a lost discourse

Feb 10 (SO) Numerous have been the never-ending debates over the state of SL’s domestic club cricket set-up and the international stage but one man, Angelo Perera, may have the final say in the whole saga that has never been addressed other than offering a platform for excuses and a hiding place for coaches and captains to save face each time the team loses. No SL cricketer has been able to do what Angelo Perera had done, virtually butchering his way into the team after many a raw deal more..

A reluctant skipper

Feb 10 (Island) Having had his technique of playing short bowling questioned after spending a few hours on the hospital bed, Dimuth Karunaratne had little clue that he will be asked to step up and lead the side for the upcoming tour of South Africa. Dimuth, the team’s most consistent Test batsman since Kumar Sangakkara, deserves the job although the members of the national selection panel didn’t cover themselves in glory given the manner in which they made the appointment. more..

Bond scam: Amendments to recover Rs. 8.5b from culprits

Feb 10 (ST) Govt is to move amendments to recover from all parties concerned the estimated Rs. 8.5 billion loss incurred due to the Treasury Bond scam. The decision was made during a meeting between PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and an AG’s Department delegation headed by Solicitor General Dappula de Livera on Friday. For this purpose, an amendment to the Registered Stock and Securities Ordinance will be moved. more..

3,876 arrested during island-wide police operation

Feb 10 (AD) Police have arrested a total of 3,876 suspects for various offences during a special island-wide police operation. This includes 1,033 suspects arrested on drug-related charges, 950 individuals with pending warrants against them, 904 for drunk driving and 820 persons for various crimes. In addition to this 164 suspects have been arrested for other corrupt practices and 5 suspects for the possession of firearms without a valid licenses. 5,022 cases were filed for traffic violation more..

President reiterates PC polls before Prez Election

Feb 10 (CT) Provincial Council (PC) Election will definitely be held before the Presidential Election and the legal impediments that have been aroused regarding it will be solved, President Sirisena said yesterday. He stated that the Prez Election will be held at the correct time but it cannot be held forcibly. He further stated that he took several decisions, which will affect the future of the country, within the last four years and supports the wide procedure to suppress drug trafficking and crimes. more..

Thousands of ATM cards cancelled; new security measures now in force

Feb 10 (ST) Private and state banks have been forced to cancel thousands of ATM cards and issue fresh chip-based after revelations that a group of foreigners used devices to skim data from the cards at some teller machines and use them fraudulently, bank officials said. At least three foreigners — two Chinese and a Romanian — have been taken into custody as the CID took over the probe. A senior CID official said more..

Aitken Spence Records Significant Growth

Feb 10 (Island) Aitken Spence PLC recorded impressive growth in financial results for the nine months ending Dec 31, 2018 with a 21.3% year-on-year growth in profits-before-tax from Rs. 3.28 bn to Rs. 3.97 bn. The leading conglomerate recorded an increase in revenue of 1.5% over the previous year, from Rs. 36.2 bn to Rs. 36.7 bn for the nine-month time period. The diversified group’s profits-before-tax increased by 52.9% from Rs.1.47 bn to Rs. 2.26 bn in the third quarter, more..

Madush before UAE Courts today

Feb 10 (SO) Notorious criminal Makandure Madush and thirty other suspects arrested in Dubai on February 4 is expected to be presented before Courts in the UAE today, Sunday. A senior diplomatic source said the suspects are expected to be produced in courts on Sunday as in the UAE, Sunday is the first working day of the week. The Dubai Police had carried blood and urine tests on the arrested suspects including underworld figures Maligawatta Kanjipani Imran, more..

Video: I will amend Constitution after our presidential candidate wins: Mahinda

Feb 10 (AD) Former Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the govt change in India in 2014 resulted in a breakdown in the relationship between Indian and SL, which he blamed on the lack of communication between the parties. “Working relationship between the govts changed. Lack of communication between the parties seemed to have led to this situation,” he said addressing the event organized by India’s The Hindu. more..

Sri Lanka to focus on three Indian states in tourism promotions

Feb 10 (EN) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau, is hoping to target its future promotions in India at three states to maximize returns. The Island Escapes campaign, offering 3-4 night budget tour packages, ran from September to November 2018, focusing on Middle East, China, India and Sri Lankans living abroad. The agency was able to monitor holiday booking patterns of Indians residing in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu during the campaign, more..

Vocational training, skills development to Bathiudeen: Prez rejects PM's request

Feb 10 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have turned down a request by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to assign the subject of vocational training and skills development to Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. President told Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting that there was no scientific basis for vocational training and skills development to be assigned to Minister Bathiudeen and said a scientific criterion had to be followed when assigning subjects to a minister. more..

Imported milk powder controversy: DGHS says quality and safety controls in place

Feb 10 (DM) Commenting on the controversy related to imported milk powder, acting Director General of Health Services, Dr. S.C. Wickramasinghe said imported milk powder is checked for quality and safety as set out by the Health Ministry under the import inspection scheme as an essential food item. He said the SL Standard Institute (SLSI) was also entrusted to test all milk to ensure conformity to SLS731:2008. more..

Four new scanners from UK for Customs

Feb 10 (CT) The Sri Lanka Customs will receive four new Scanner Machines, by March, from the UK to scan consignments at its yards. The brand selected is Rapiscan, which has already been shipped and could scan a consignment within 30 seconds, said Deputy Director of Customs (Risk Management) and Assistant Secretary of Customs Staff Officers’ Union, Sudath de Silva. The scanners would be handled under Build, Own and Operate (BOO) basis which means that operators will bring it, more..

Another dog burnt alive...

Feb 10 (CT) Animal Welfare Activists are protesting over the burning and killing of a pregnant canine in Gampaha and are urging relevant authorities to enact the Animal Welfare Bill as soon as possible. The dog was allegedly burnt alive after she was seen going into the garden of a woman who according to the neighbours hates dogs. “On 3 February 2019 the dog was seen going into the garden of the suspect a retired teacher. We received news that a dog was burnt alive. more..

Lankan drug bust in Dubai: Madush’s rival gave tipoff and sent pictures here

Feb 10 (ST) Last week’s arrest in Dubai of a SL millionaire drug lord Makandure Madush raised questions of his political links and plunged the issue in mystery — the result of conflicting claims locally. An investigation by the Sunday Times revealed that the raid was conducted entirely by the Dubai Police and none of their counterparts in Sri Lanka was involved. Makandure Madush, whose real name is Samarasinghe more..

Harmful substances in imported milk powder: Buddhika sticks to what he said

Feb 10 (DM) Deputy Minister Buddhika Pathirana reconfirmed his statement that imported milk powder contains harmful substances and said yesterday health ministry officials had misled Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne on this matter. He said this in parliament in response to a statement made by the health minister that imported milk powder did not contain any harmful substances as claimed by the deputy minister. The deputy minister said he revealed these facts about milk powder more..

Video: Police seize cars belonging to Madush’s mistress and actor

Feb 10 (AD) Police have discovered the car used by actor Ryan Van Rooyen, who was arrested in Dubai along with SL drug kingpin Makandure Madush, at a tourist resort in Weligam, Mirissa. The vehicle was taken into custody by Weligama Police last evening (8) while it has been uncovered that the resort in question is owned by Amila Hettiarachchi, alias Suranji Sudda, who was also arrested in Dubai with Madush. Preliminary police inquiries have revealed that before traveling to Dubai, more..

President Sirisena intensifies moves for alliance with SLPP

Feb 10 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena, once again this week, turned to his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa, to resurrect talks for an alliance between the SLFP and the SLPP. Such a move would have been inconceivale four years ago though the past several months have seen a dialogue that ended abruptly. At least for him, it is a precursor to his efforts to become the joint SLFP-SLPP candidate for this year’s prez election more..

The Rajapaksa Pot vs the UNP Kettle: The Battle of Immoral Equivalences

Feb 10 (Island) It is both ironic and insulting that the Rajapaksa camp and the UNP alliance have become identified with the two political systems contending for primacy in Sri Lanka. The Rajapaksas are identified with and are the champions of the executive presidential system. This is ironic given their so called roots in the SLFP, and it is insulting to the legacy of JR Jayewardene the acknowledged father of the presidential system in Sri Lanka. The UNP, on the other hand, more..

Rotary marks 15 years of fighting cancer

Feb 10 (Island) In Sri Lanka, where cancer ranks amongst the three leading Non Communicable Diseases (NCD), with over 15,000-20,000 new cases diagnosed every year, there is an urgent need to address this rising incidence and save lives, otherwise lost due to late presentation. Recognizing the tremendous value of screening and early detection which could reduce deaths from cancer by at least one third, the Rotary Club of Colombo, 15 years ago, joined hands with the National more..

Probe on Trump’s inauguration bash: Lanka as footnote

Feb 10 (ST) Sri Lanka has figured as a political footnote in a major investigation of big-dollar donors who helped finance US President Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony when he took office in January 2017. The focus of the investigation includes Imaad Zuberi, a California venture capitalist, who reportedly donated more than $1.1 million dollars to committees associated with Mr. Trump and the Republican Party. more..

Clashes in the House: Speaker sends report to Attorney General

Feb 10 (SO) Two weeks after a Special Committee set up to investigate unprecedented violence and raucous behaviour in Parliament in November last year presented a damning report, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has forwarded the findings to the Attorney General for observations and decisions on whether to file legal action against lawmakers who have been found to be in breach of the Parliamentary Powers more..

Karu comes under Maithri’s wrath

Feb 10 (CT) Prez Sirisena who arrived at the Parliament Chamber for the first time after the political turmoil which commenced on 26 Oct 2018, last Wednesday (6) with a long list of complaints just like in his address to the nation at the 71st National Independence Day celebration and did not spare anyone who has now come under his wrath. The top in his hit list appeared to be none other than Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. more..

Survey shows sharp dip in SL’s fish stocks

Feb 10 (ST) An independent ecosystem survey carried out on Sri Lanka’s coastal marine resources after forty years found that fish stocks have depleted rapidly to one fifth of what it was. This was due to several factors including overfishing and high level contamination by microplastics. A Norwegian Research Vessel named Dr. Fridtjof Nansen completed the ecosystem survey around the coastal waters of Sri Lanka. more..

UNF says it wants National Govt to counter President Sirisena’s sabotage agenda

Feb 10 (Island) The need to form another National Govt has arisen, due to Prez Sirisena’s continuing efforts to sabotage the efficient functioning of the Ranil Wickremesinghe administration, senior UNP-led UNF sources said. They said that ever since Prez Sirisena had fallen out with Premier Wickremesinghe over personal differences, all his actions had been aimed at preventing the Wickremesinghe Govt from more..

A National Shame: Tea industry workers and their plight

Feb 10 (CT) It could be said that the 200 and more years of servitude suffered by the estate workers are as bad as the 30-year war that all Sri Lankans suffered from. Ceylon Tea, a brand name that entertains the whole world with a smile under the slogan Ceylon Tea: The trade that made the nation, but under the surface, there is human misery behind each cup of tea; the very tea we take pride in. more..

Sri Lanka warned against putting too may eggs in Chinese basket

Feb 10 (EN) Sri Lanka should diversify its financial and economic strategy to include more foreign partners to reduce geopolitical risks, the Ambassador of the European Delegation to SL said. "If there are too many Chinese eggs in one basket, it can become a danger," Tung-Lai Margue said at a recent forum. "I'm saying this not from a diplomatic point of view but a common sense points of view," he said, giving his personal opinion. more..

Extradition request of Madush: Up to Defence Ministry to act: AG

Feb 10 (CT) Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya yesterday told Ceylon Today, that it is the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs, that should make arrangements to get the group, including underworld kingpin Makandure Madush, which has been taken into custody by the Dubai Police, extradited to Sri Lanka. The reason is, he said, because under the extradition law, only the Ministry of Defence is empowered to do so. more..

National Govt will be formed before March: Kiriella

Feb 10 (DM) The UNF govt will form a National Govt before the end of February with the help of nine SLFP members who have pledged their support to the UNF, House Leader Lakshman Kiriella said. He said the motion to form the National Govt would be presented at the next session of Parliament that would start on Feb 20. “We have no doubt that we can pass the motion with ease with the support of the nine SLFP members who more..

HRCSL vets troops for South Sudan, rejects President’s charge

Feb 10 (ST) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) is now vetting a group of military personnel nominated for UN peacekeeping in South Sudan, its chairperson Deepika Udagama said, days after writing to Prez Sirisena rejecting claims that the commission was responsible for the recent deaths of two soldiers in Mali. Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, President Sirisena claimed that more..