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Sri Lanka industrial activity grows in December with higher food production

Feb 13 (EN) Sri Lanka's industrial activity grew 1.6% in December 2018 compared to November with higher food production in the holiday season, the state statistics office said. The Index of Industrial Production, compiled by the Department of Census and Statistics, grew to 109 points in December from 107.3 points in November. A value over 100 means industrial activity grew compared to the base year of 2015. more..

Prison officers and cops among those arrested with Madush: Thalatha

Feb 13 (CT) Minister Thalatha Atukorale stated that certain Prisons Department officers and Police officers were among those who were detained by Dubai Police early this month. She stated that the country had turned into a drug haven by 2014. Atukorale also said that instead of judicial zones, there will be administrative Districts and administrative electorates where JPs will be in charge. The Minister revealed this at an event to appoint new JPs in Kahawatta, Ratnapura more..

Appeals Court rejects Wigneswaran’s preliminary objections

Feb 13 (AD) The Court of Appeal has rejected the preliminary objections raised by former Chief Minister of Northern Provincial Council (NPC) C.V. Wigneswaran, seeking the void of the petition filed against him over Contempt of Court. The decision was announced by the Appeals Court judge bench consisting Judges Kumudini Wickramasinghe and Janak de Silva today. Accordingly, Appeals Court judge bench has decided to proceed with the hearing of indictments against the former CM. more..

Video: MP Chaminda Wijesiri surrenders to court

Feb 13 (AD) UNP MP Chaminda Wijesiri, who has been accused of assaulting a Police Constable, arrived at the Bandarawela Magistrate’s Court, a short while ago. MP is expected to surrender to the court through an attorney. MP had allegedly assaulted a Constable attached to the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) in Bandarawela on Sunday. The police officer in question reportedly overtaking the vehicle of MP had aggravated more..

New IOM Chief of Mission in Sri Lanka assures commitment

Feb 13 (Island) International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s new Chief of Mission in SL yesterday presented his credentials to Minister Tilak Marapana, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo. Sarat Dash, previously served as IOM’s Chief of Mission in Yemen, Bangladesh, Nepal and Azerbaijan. He was also IOM’s Special Envoy to India and Bhutan. An Indian national, Dash joined IOM in 1998 with over 15 years of experience in development sector in South Asia. more..

Van, jeep parked at Madush’s mistress’s aunt’s house seized

Feb 13 (DM) A van and a jeep parked at Makadure Madush’s mistress’s aunt’s house at Pamunuwila, Gonawala of the Sapugaskanda police division were taken into the STF custody this afternoon, police said. They said the van had been registered under the name of Madush’s mistress’s mother, who has passed away. The jeep had been registered under the name of mistress’s uncle. The vehicles were suspected to have been purchased from the money earned through drug smuggling. more..

300MW LNG power plant at Kerawalapitiya: Tender procedure flouted

Feb 13 (CT) Multiple sources claimed that the Cabinet yesterday (12), decided to award the controversial 300 megawatt (MW) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tender for construction at Kerawalapitiya, to the Wind Force Private Limited company, having flouted tender procedure. The Cabinet also decided to award a tender to Lakdanavi, attached to the Lanka Transformers which had quoted the least tender bid, to construct another 300 MW LNG more..

Foreign ministry gags SL Embassy in UAE from divulging information on Madush arrest

Feb 13 (CT) Sri Lankan officials at both the SL embassy and consulate general in the UAE have been barred from speaking on the arrest and detention of Makandure Madush who is currently being held in Dubai. Madush’s toxicology reports had showed that he and nearly 25 others had various drugs ranging from cocaine to heroin in their blood, when they were arrested at a lavish birthday he had thrown for his son on Monday. Only 5 individuals have been cleared. more..

No reason for a fare increase: Mangala

Feb 13 (DM) Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday said there was no reason for a fare increase in any of the transport or other logistics sectors on par with the fuel price revision announced on Monday night. Ministry of Finance and Media on Monday night announced that a litre of Octane 92 Petrol was increased by Rs, 6, litre of Octane 95 petrol by Rs.5, litre of Auto Diesel 99 by Rs. 4 and a litre of Super Diesel by Rs. 8, effective from midnight on Monday. more..

Dearth of teachers in rural schools

Feb 13 (CT) A top official of the Education Ministry claimed that the Ministry was finding it difficult to fill teacher vacancies in rural schools, with every applicant demanding only popular schools in Colombo. “This led to Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam re-calling retired teachers to service as a solution to fill the shortage in rural areas. Even though it is mandatory for teachers to serve in a rural area at least for 5 years, more..

Cabinet approval to revise fines for serious traffic offences

Feb 13 (AD) The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the revision of spot fines for several serious traffic offences under the Motor Traffic Act. Increasing spot fines for serious traffic offences that majorly cause motor accidents was proposed at a previous occasion, however, certain parties had presented various submissions prior to implementation of the revised fines. Hence, President Sirisena had appointed a committee to look into fine revision and present recommendations in this regard. more..

Lankan delegation holds talks in TN on refugee issue

Feb 13 (Island) A SL delegation had talks with officials in Tamil Nadu on the refugee issue. SL’s High Commissioner to India Austin Fernando was on a working visit to Southern India to participate in the Special Consular service program at the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai from 07-10 Feb 2019, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. The program brought together a team from Sri Lanka representing the Registrar General’s Office and Department of Immigration and Emigration more..

SLTPB partners with Ironman to boost Sri Lanka tourism

Feb 13 (FT) The world’s most gruelling and iconic endurance race is once again coming to SL when some 750 athletes are expected to descend on SL shores for the So Sri Lanka Ironman 70.3 Colombo Triathlon on 24 Feb. And this year promises to be better than the last with event organisers Pro Am Serendib partnering with the SL Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB). For those unfamiliar with Ironman 70.3 triathlon series, more..

Media will be allowed to cover proceedings of COPE and COPA: Kiriella

Feb 13 (DM) Media coverage has been limited only to main parliamentary proceedings up to now. Minister Kiriella said that the leader of the House has the power under standing orders to permit the media to cover the proceedings of the committees. Therefore, he does not see any impediment to invite the media to cover the COPE and other committees. “I have already spoken to a number of former secretary generals on this matter and they said I have powers under the standing orders to more..

Mannar carbon dating report out tomorrow

Feb 13 (NR) The Carbon Dating Test report on the remains uncovered from Mannar mass grave is scheduled to be released tomorrow. Judicial Medical Officer in charge of the Mannar mass grave Shaminda Rajapaksa said the report compiled by an institute in Florida, United States, is expected to reach the Sri Lankan authorities tomorrow. The remains were sent to an institute in Florida on the 23rd of January for Carbon Dating tests to determine the timeframe of the deaths. more..

Inexperienced SL attack land early punches

Feb 13 (CI) Sri Lanka arrived in South Africa a beleaguered team shorn of their first-choice bowling attack and light on experience in the middle order. South Africa, meanwhile, have their best pace bowling quartet in a generation to call upon, as well as the confidence of having just bested Pakistan across formats. But after the first day at Kingsmead, there was little to separate two teams and, if anything, SL are just ahead. more..

Blue-Collar & The Soaring Dollar

Feb 14 (CT) To what extent can the govt of SL, its Central Bank and experts deliberate and work towards supporting the stabilizing process of the rupee? Given the myriad of realities that impinge the local currency both inherently and externally can the rupee actually be defended without adverse consequences? By that I mean can the downward spiral be reversed in any strategic, meaningful way and arrest its decline with the least damage? Or is this just typical Sri Lankan style politicking more..

Re-visiting the narcotics issue

Feb 14 (CT) The arrests in Dubai of many celebrants, presumably Sri Lankans, in a joint operation by our Law Enforcement officials and the Dubai officials, has brought into focus many interesting issues. 1. Almost all the detainees have tested positive for narcotics and are to be brought before their Courts in Dubai. 2. Considering the UAE’s attitude towards, even alcohol and the heavy penalties that are imposed, it is probable that these arrestees may even invite execution. more..

Underestimating urbanisation: Tackling Sri Lanka's growing pains

Feb 14 (Roar) Going by statistics alone, Sri Lanka is among the least urbanised countries in the world. According to the last census, taken in 2012, only 18.1% of the country’s 20.4 million people live in cities, ranking the country 187th out of 194 in percentage of urban population. But numbers don’t tell the whole picture. “This statistic underestimates the true urban population of Sri Lanka because of a definitional issue,” more..

Democracy a white elephant and a spent force today

Feb 14 (SO) Centuries ago Athens gave birth to democracy, a new form of effective, productive, positive and plausible govt and a step in the right direction. ‘Democracy’ was adjudged a viable form of administration over the world with its undisputed resourcefulness for mass management and mastery. India remains the largest democracy in the world while SL is running her 71st year of unabridged democratic rule. Political analysts are perceptive that underneath the democratic set up, more..

The decline and collapse of community radio

Feb 14 (DN) The UNESCO, particularly the communication division headed by C. Arnolda of the Philippines, initiated the community radio pilot project in Sri Lanka. It was mooted by a journalist and politician of international repute Dr. Sarath Amunugama. He had served on the UNESCO execution board and had a profound knowledge and experience in broadcasting and its intrinsic merits and its potency as a stage publicity mechanism and the range of benefits to the peasantry. more..

Portuguese burghers, remnants of a bygone era

Feb 14 (CT) First appearance of the Portuguese in Ceylon appears to have been accidental. Legend has it that, Francisco de Almeida; the Viceroy of Goa dispatched his son, Don Lourenҫo de Almeida with a fleet of nine vessels to attack the Moor’s spice ships which were reported to be sailing near the Maldives. Howbeit, it was the wrong season for the ships, & Lourenҫo’s fleet battered by relentless gales was blown off toward coast more..

The Subaltern in Search of Speech

Feb 14 (GV) I would like to thank you, Mr. Mawng Zarni and his enthusiasm for bringing me here today to discuss one of the most important issues of our lifetime. Every generation loses its way, stops being vigilant, begins to believe in false Gods and then there is terrible violence. Scholars and lawyers are left to debate whether it is genocide or war crimes or crimes against humanity. This happened in the 1940s and the 1990s. One such episode took place in August 2017. more..

Taming the road monsters

Feb 14 (DN) Sri Lanka, as a nation can be proud of some of its achievements. For example, we can be happy of our population growth which has come down to a modest 1.1% per year. We also can be satisfied with our health indicators, especially the impressive reductions in maternal and infant mortality in the last few decades and our well-integrated patient care service. But can we be equally happy with our increasing road accidents? Let us take a look at few of the statistics. more..

Nagananda Kodituwakku

MTD Walkers PLC enjoined from transferring shares till 20 February

Feb 14 (FT) Colombo Commercial High Court issued enjoining orders on MTD Walkers PLC restraining it from transferring the shares of MTD Walkers of No. 18 St Michaels Road Colombo 3 in the name of third parties or interfering with its shares in any other manner until 20 February. HC Judge R. Gurusinghe issued four enjoining orders on the defendant MTD Walkers in four cases filed by four Private banks namely Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Seylan Bank, DFCC Bank & NDB. more..

Karu can become an enemy of Ranil’s liberal project

Feb 14 (CT) In today’s’ politics moral equivalence is confined to bribery and corruption, while suitability for public work and social–political leadership is confined to arguments and debates over corruption within the country. Media bosses dominate the show with enslaved media professionals. When the main political parties are all corrupt; all are the same becomes the argument of everybody. There is also no moral equivalence, in intellectual honesty or social ethical training and more..

DRS 15-second rule in spotlight as Sri Lanka miss out on a wicket

Feb 14 (CI) An apparent DRS timing error may have cost SL a wicket on the first morning at Kingsmead. Two balls after he had Dean Elgar caught behind in his first over of the day, Vishwa Fernando rapped Hashim Amla on the pads to spark a confident appeal for lbw. Umpire Aleem Dar was unmoved, and after a short discussion SL captain Dimuth Karunaratne asked for a review - but Dar turned down the request on the basis that more..

Edtorial: More teeth, no bite?

Feb 14 (Island) A new law has been enacted to enable the CIABOC to use the findings of presidential commissions of inquiry (PCoIs) for prosecutorial purposes. Govt kept dragging its feet on the vote on the Bill concerned, but finally buckled under pressure. Parliament passed it unanimously, in the end, because no party wanted to be seen to be partial to the corrupt. The new legislation is aimed at saving the CIABOC the trouble of reinventing the wheel or conducting fresh more..

'SL's green seamers caught us off guard'

Feb 14 (CI) Quinton de Kock, South Africa's best batsman on day one of the first Test, has conceded that Sri Lanka's inexperienced quicks caught his team off guard at Kingsmead. There are few real surprises in top-level cricket any more, such is the preponderance of video analysis. Generally, it is also a disadvantage to field a green attack. But so fresh are three of Sri Lanka's bowlers, that their newness may actually have helped them in Durban. Vishwa Fernando and Kasun Rajitha more..

Vishwa Fernando's success despite the system, not because of it

Feb 14 (CI) Before we dwell on SL's good start to the series, let us count off all the ways in which it could all go south from here. - SL's innings goes down in a whirl of outside edges and flying bails, before SA tear to 260 for 2 at the end of day 2, effectively infinity runs ahead. - Incredibly, the batting goes okay, but while the top order is out in the middle, the bowlers suffer a torn-hamstring epidemic while in line for the dressing room more..

Access Engineering set to secure largest overseas project

Feb 14 (DM) Access Engineering PLC is en route to secure its largest construction contract outside Sri Lanka worth of 14 million euros to design and construct substructures for a Spanish-funded steel overpass for vehicles in Nairobi, Kenya, as the firm eyes business expansion in East Africa. Council of Ministers of Spain recently selected the top Spanish engineering firm Centunion S.A. as the main contractor for the 23.25 million euro project which would be financed through a refundable more..

MR backs unemployed graduates

Feb 14 (FT) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday condemned the use of tear gas and water cannons on a protest carried out by a group of unemployed graduates at Fort and called on the Govt to commence discussions to find solutions to address their issues. In a statement, Rajapaksa said that the Govt has a responsibility to provide employment opportunities for graduates. He stated the attack on the protesters showed the incapability of the Govt to solve outstanding issues. more..

Cancer patients in a quandary

Feb 14 (CT) The Apeksha Hospital for Cancer patients said that some of its patients were compelled to seek assistance from private hospitals, to carry out certain complicated tests, as they were not available in the Govt Health Service. Acting Deputy Director of the Apeksha Hospital, Dr. Roshan Amaratunga said, that some of those tests had been performed at the Hospital at one time. However, due to issues with the supplier and reagents to more..

Pakistan President confers military honour upon Sri Lanka’s Chief of Defence Staff

Feb 14 (AAP) Pakistan’s President Dr. Arif Alvi Wednesday conferred Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Military) upon Chief of Defence Staff of Sri Lankan Armed Forces Admiral Ravindra Chandrasiri Wijegunaratne in a special investiture ceremony held here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Associate Press of Pakistan reported. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat NI (M) and senior officers were also present in the ceremony, a press release issued by the Prez’s Media Office here said. more..

New regulations for appointing Justice of Peace

Feb 14 (FT) Justice and Prison Reforms Minister Thalatha Athukorala said new regulations will be introduced to appoint Justices of Peace according to administrative districts, to improve the impartiality of the post. “It is obvious that certain people who are not suitable had been appointed as the post of Justice of Peace, which has raised a lot of concerns over the years,” Athukorala said, at an event held on Monday in Ratnapura to present new appointments of Justice of Peace. more..

Arjuna requests live telecast of SLC Election

Feb 14 (CT) Subsequent to the Appeals Committee ruling knocking out Presidential candidate Mohan de Silva, Jayantha Dharmadasa and his team consisting of former World Cup winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and his brother Nishantha, became the clear leader prior to the SLC election 2019 to be held on the 21st of this month. But that did not stop them from convening a press conference to reply to various allegations more..

Jafferjee, Abeyesekera on CSE board

Feb 14 (EN) Murtaza Jafferjee, chairman of JB Securities, and Dimuthu Abeyesekera, director and CEO of Asha Phillip Securities Ltd., have been appointed as directors of Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). The appointments were with effect from 1st February 2019. Abeyesekera’s Asha Phillip Securities is affiliated with Phillip Capital Singapore, a specialised financial services organisation managing assets worth over US$35 billion with a network of offices around the world. more..

Competitive entrepreneurs cure for economic ills: PM

Feb 14 (FT) Competitive entrepreneurs will decide Sri Lanka’s future, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said, acknowledging that the country is in the midst of a bad dose of fiscal consolidation to repay debt that has hurt growth, but that prospects could be improved through exports and investment. Speaking at the Entrepreneur of the Year awards ceremony, organised by FCCISL, he noted that homegrown entrepreneurs have to become more competitive to foster growth. more..

Sri Lanka to revive small scale rice millers to boost competition

Feb 14 (EN) Sri Lanka will be providing one billion rupees in financing for the farmers' guaranteed price paddy purchase program through small and medium scale rice millers in order to boost competition and correct govt failure, a minister said. "What we want to make sure is we put in place a set of policies where we try to reactivate competition in the milling market to solve the problem of market failure without causing a govt failure," more..