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All communities unite for a clean Puttalam

Feb 19 (SO) Wednesday (13), Thursday and Friday were declared Black Days in Puttalam. Wearing blackarmbands and headbands, people, including schoolchildren, continued their day to day life protesting quietly in solidarity against the proposed mega-scale sanitary landfill. Black band protest is the latest initiative by the District Inter-Religious Committee (DIRC) of Puttalam, in its bid to pressurise the authorities concerned, more..

Team in fragile condition: Handle with Care

Feb 19 (CT) In any sport, when a team is on a winning streak no one notices anything off kilter in its environment; but it’s the complete opposite when the losing begins. I believe the current scenario bugging the Sri Lankan cricket scene stems mainly from this reality. I refuse to believe that everything was absolutely perfect when Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 1996 or in the ensuing years when the Lankans touched great cricketing heights. What covered potential cracks that threatened to more..

Edtorial: Kudu ministers?

Feb 19 (Island) The arrest of Madush in Dubai has apparently eclipsed most issues, in this country. Nobody talks about the fall armyworm any longer, and the economy, in tatters, has ceased to figure in public discussion. Everybody seems to have forgotten the much-delayed provincial council polls and the soaring cost of living. The people are waiting agog for more news from Dubai. The Opposition, desperate for political mileage, has found an issue to flog to its heart’s content. more..

අමල් පෙරේරා සහ රූකාන්ත කලා ලෝකයට අහිමිවීම

Foreign debt vulnerability and indebtedness to China

Feb 19 (ST) The country’s external financial vulnerability is the most serious economic concern. Although the country is able to meet its massive debt repayment obligations of over US$ 5 billion this year, by further borrowing that would enhance external financial vulnerability. At the end of 2017, the country’s foreign debt amounted to US$ 47 billion. It is estimated that foreign debt increased further to about US$ 53 billion at the end of 2018. This is about 77% of our GDP. more..

Eliyakanda Hill Climb: Ashan records fastest time

Feb 19 (DN) Champion Driver Ashan Silva recorded the fastest time at the Eliyakanda Hill Climb clocking a time of 32.61 seconds for the 765 metre Climb while Dushan Mudalige became the Best Rider clocking 35.66 seconds at the Southern Motor Sports Club organized event which came to an end on Sunday in a highly successful manner. Ashan as usual drove his Mitsubishi IX in grand style in the SL-GT up to 3500cc class to achieve this victory but failed to erase the existing record of more..

I wasn't afraid: Vishwa Fernando on standing up to South Africa's attack

Feb 19 (CI) Having taken 8 for 133 and batted out 27 deliveries in an epic last-wicket stand, Vishwa Fernando's contribution to Sri Lanka's victory was second only to that of Kusal Perera. The Kingsmead Test having only been his fourth, Vishwa looks back on his sudden call-up to the Test side, his bowling, as well as that record-breaking stand. Q: You were in Sri Lanka playing domestic cricket, and there were 5 seamers more..

Today is Navam Full Moon Poya

Feb 19 (CT) Navam Poya Day is significant in the annals of Buddhism for three significant events, namely, the appointment of Arahant Sariputta and Arahant Moggallana as the chief disciples by the Buddha, the announcement by the Buddha of His Parinibbana, and the prescribing of a code of ethics for the Sangha. The members of the Maha Sangha, guided by the disciplinary rules contained in the Vinaya Pitaka, have been the custodians of Buddha Sasana through the centuries. more..

TNA & Geneva

Feb 19 (CT) Sri Lanka’s human rights issue vis-à-vis its war against LTTE separatism will once more crop up at Geneva on 20 March. Sri Lanka at Geneva on 1 October, 2015 gave a commitment to the international community that it will pave the way for a probe into alleged human rights (HR) abuse in the prosecution of this war with the aid of international jurists. Thereafter, the UNHRC gave Sri Lanka time till a session of theirs due in March 2017, to have its house in order, by then. more..

Schoolboy Pieris gunning for glory at WC

Feb 19 (CT) SL’s top junior marksman in the 10-metre Air Rifle event, Vidura Pieris, aims for glory at the Int'l Sports Shooting Federation (ISSF) Rifle and Pistol World Cup to be held in New Delhi, India from 20 to 28 Feb. The 18-year-old student of Thurstan College is the only schoolboy in the 16-member Sri Lanka shooting team that will compete in this event. It will be the second major international competition for more..

Private education may wipe out State edu

Feb 19 (DM) JO front-liner Bandula Gunawardena has protested against the purported decision by the Govt to permit private schools to open five branches, each claiming that the decision would be detrimental to the free education. MP Gunawardena who is also a former Education Minister under President Mahinda Rajapaksa is of the opinion that Govt’s move would encourage the private education in the country and that would ultimately lead to the death of the free education in SL. more..

Delinquents given dressing down

Feb 19 (CT) Former SL cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga says he severely condemns the behaviour of SL players in their dressing room in the wake of the dramatic one-wicket win over South Africa in the first Test at Durban last Saturday. He stated that the Ministry of Sports should locate the person behind the release of the controversial footage to social media – which predictably went viral – and punish him accordingly. He said the SL players’ behaviour in the dressing room more..

Sri Lanka’s best Test win overseas

Feb 19 (Island) Winning Test matches overseas is special. There are some memorable wins away from home like The Oval 1998, Wellington 2006 and Headingley 2014, but Durban 2019 will be pretty special and perhaps Sri Lanka’s greatest Test win away from home. Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie, who has made a tremendous impact as a coach reckoned that Kusal Janith Perera’s (KJP) unbeaten 153 was more..

Sri Lanka’s finest hour!

Feb 19 (Island) By the end of the third day at Kingsmead in Durban, SL were three down for 83 and still requiring 221 to win. All indications were that they were heading towards another customary ending. The game was keenly poised, and If ever there was an occasion for someone to play Horatius at the Bridge, this was it. Early indications were that there weren’t any such gallant men in sight. Batsmen simply came and went. Among those dismissed on day three were Karunaratne, more..

LAUGFS Chairman honoured by FCCISL

Feb 19 (CT) Recognising his exemplary contribution to the country, LAUGFS Holdings Chairman, W.K.H. Wegapitiya, was awarded the prestigious Hall of Fame award by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCISL) at the 23rd SL Entrepreneur of the Year Awards held recently. Hall of Fame is a lifetime award bestowed to recognise and honour entrepreneurs who have demonstrated outstanding achievements and have contributed to take SL brand to a global platform. more..

RPCs call for new wage model for estate workers

Feb 19 (FT) As demand for further increases in the plantation workers wage continues, Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) have called for a new wage structure focusing on a revenue share model that could have sweeping productivity-focused reforms in the entire industry. “When we signed the collective agreement on the new wages we informed all stakeholders including the Plantation Minister & Labour Minister more..

SLC asks manager for report on team meeting video

Feb 19 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has asked for a detailed report from the manager of the national cricket team Jerryl Woutersz on the video that went viral on Sunday where a former Sri Lanka captain is seen using abusive language against the SLC management and the Competent Authority running cricket during a team meeting inside the dressing room at Durban, venue of the first Test against South Africa. The meeting took place soon after the match on Saturday which Sri Lanka won more..

SLIA to host Architect 2019 trade exhibition

Feb 19 (CT) Celebrating the institute’s 61st Anniversary in 2019, the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) established in 1957 will be hosting the A’19 (ARCHITECT 2019) trade exhibition for the 37th year at BMICH from 21-24 Feb 2019, a media release stated. The Members’ Work and Trade Exhibition will be opened to the general public from 10.00am-10.00pm, with more than 300 Trade Stalls and 150 Architects’ display panels, including digital panels displaying Architects’ work. more..

SriLankan assets overestimated

Feb 19 (Island) SriLankan Airlines had, for the most part, overvalued its aviation assets, and that had led them to pay higher insurance premiums. Senior Insurance Executive, Rajinda Fernando told the PCoI that he was not able to tell the commission the exact amount they had overpaid due to overvaluation. PCoI ordered Fernando to calculate the sum and furnish that to the commission in an affidavit. Fernando was also asked to provide more..

CITES CoP18 kicks off in SL in 90 days

Feb 19 (CT) In exactly 90 days from today, the 183 Parties to CITES (182 countries + the European Union) will gather at BMICH for the Biggest Wildlife Conference in the world – the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP18) to be held from 23 May to 3 June with the participation over 3500+ international delegates. With 183 Parties, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) remains one of the world's most more..

Tourism earnings up 2.2%

Feb 19 (CT) Tourism earnings during the first month of this year increased 2.2% in dollar terms, reflecting the same growth as tourist arrivals during January, though in rupee terms it posted an increase of 21.1%. the country earned nearly US$ 458.4 million in January this year, up 2.2% compared to US$ 448.5 million earned during the same month of last year. In rupee terms, SL earned Rs 83.5 billion from tourist arrivals, up from 21.1% compared to Rs 69 billion earned during same month of last yr, more..

Iran, SL to expand economic cooperation

Feb 19 (FNA) SL Ambassador to Iran Sharif Anis said that his country is after bolstering economic relations with Iran, voicing hope that the upcoming opening of Tehran-Colombo direct flights further improve interactions between the two countries. Anis said in a meeting with economic activists in Iran’s central province of Yazd, that promoting economic relations between his country and Yazd province will benefit both countries. more..

Sri Lanka plugs Buddhist tourist trail site

Feb 19 (BP) Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Bureau has introduced a Buddhist Tourism Trail, a SL promotional website aiming to attract Thai and other travellers from Theravada Buddhism countries. "Thailand has always been a good friend of Sri Lanka. Our friendship spans many centuries based on the foundation of Theravada Buddhism, and we foster this relationship with care. That is why Thailand is the perfect country to launch our Buddhist Tourism Trail website," more..

STF ops on to find Madush et al’s assets

Feb 19 (CT) STF has launched an investigation to find out the assets belonging to the underworld members, who have been arrested in Dubai, along with the notorious drug kingpin Makandure Madush. The STF has already conducted investigations regarding a five-storey building at Maligawatta believed to be owned by mobster Kanjipani Imran. This building had been found with information provided by Imran’s manager. That building had been scheduled to be opened with more..

Will present new UNHRC resolution: SLPP

Feb 19 (FT) SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said that if the party manages to form a govt in the future, they would present a resolution to the UNHRC to counter the resolution that SL co-sponsored in 2015. Govt is preparing to make representations on its progress before the UNHRC sessions, which are expected to begin later this month. In 2017 Govt requested an extension of 2 years to implement bulk of the requirements more..

Alleged abduction of Rathgama businessmen: IP arrested

Feb 19 (DN) Officer in charge of the Southern Province Special Investigation Unit Inspector Nishantha De Silva was arrested yesterday in connection with the alleged abduction of two businessmen in Rathgama, Galle. Inspector was arrested by the CID officials investigating into the alleged abduction case at the office of Galle Superintendent of Police. This Inspector had allegedly used a van obtained from a businessman in Akmeemana to abduct these businessmen. more..

Special Police team awaits permission to question Madush

Feb 19 (DN) A special Police team is ready to leave for Dubai to question drug kingping Makandure Madush now in Police custody in Dubai, soon after permission is granted by the Dubai authorities. This special Police team comprises officers from the CID and STF. The SL Police have already made a request from the Dubai authorities to provide them an opportunity to question the suspect through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Police are expecting a positive response from the Dubai authorities. more..

GMOA urges President to take over Health Ministry

Feb 19 (Island) The GMOA, yesterday, asked President Maithripala Sirisena to take over the Ministry of Health immediately. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that if Minister Rajitha Senaratne continued to be in charge of health the life of millions of Sri Lankans would be in danger. "We will also make this request formally in the coming days and we expect to meet the President soon to discuss the matter," Dr. Aluthge said. more..

'Gazette should be issued prior to bond issuance under direct placement method'

Feb 19 (Island) Legal Department of the Central Bank (CBSL) had instructed that a gazette be issued prior to the issuance of Treasury bonds under the direct placement method, as detailed in the Registered Stock and Securities Ordinance (RSSO), CBSL Legal and Compliance Department Acting Director K.G.P. Sirikumara informed the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI). RSSO states that the publication of a notice on the issuance must be done 2 weeks before the issuance of bonds. more..

Madush alleged to have deposited Rs.10 bn in SL and Dubai banks

Feb 19 (DM) Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the police has unearthed that the notorious underworld criminal Makandure Madush has deposited as much as Rs.10 billion in 23 bank accounts here and in Dubai. Madush who was arrested in Dubai by the Dubai police has earned a colossal amount of money by smuggling cocaine and heroin, extortions and contract killings. Besides, it is learnt that he has invested his earnings in the construction of buildings. more..

Ranjan says list of 24 MPs addicted to drugs handed over to Speaker

Feb 19 (CT) State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said that he had revealed the names of politicians, including MPs, who allegedly consume cocaine and other illegal narcotics to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on 17 Feb. Ramanayake said that he revealed those names to the Speaker via telephone. “I would not reveal these names to the Media and the general public as there should be a thorough investigation first. more..

President’s anti-narcotic campaign long overdue, but the style is too simplistic

Feb 19 (DM) Prez Sirisena genuinely or otherwise seems to share the rightful sense of urgency to combat the drug menace in this country. If he is genuine, he would be the first national leader who understood the gravity of the problem, and sought decisively to act upon it. Perhaps the only other leader, who grappled the extent of the challenge was Ranjan Wijeratna, who as the de-facto defence minister in 1988-89, liquidated the Colombo underworld (along with JVP). more..

How Jaffna Hindus met challenge of European missionaries

Feb 19 (DM) With the advent of European power in Ceylon in the 16th Century, the Hndus of Jaffna began to face religious annihilation. The Portuguese and the Dutch were hell bent on converting them to Christianity – the Portuguese to Roman Catholicism and the Dutch to Protestatism. The British, with the help of American missionaries also tried, but in a different way, with education and job offers, not crude coercion. However, by the middle of the 19th Century, there was a Hindu revival which more..

Blind spots allow drugs to pour into SL

Feb 19 (ST) thousands of unmonitored high-seas vessels are weak points in SL’s maritime security, buoying a multi-billion-rupee drug smuggling trade despite an increase in interceptions and detections by authorities. Poor border management and rampant bribery and corruption have proved to be major stumbling blocks in curbing smugglers. Police estimate that nearly 95% of illicit drugs are smuggled into country more..

Palali picked over Mattala: SLPP

Feb 19 (FT) SLPP yesterday questioned why the Govt was planning to upgrade the Palali Airport to international standard when it opposed the construction of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) and has done little to make it a viable venture. During the PM’s recent visit to the North plans to develop Palali Airport as an international airport was discussed with Rs. 20 billion investment earmarked for the project. more..

Domestic milk promotion: GMOA wants national program

Feb 19 (CT) The GMOA urged President Maithripala Sirisena to ensure the safety of the public by establishing a national programme to promote locally produced fresh milk. GMOA Secretary, Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that an inter-ministerial committee should be appointed to ensure the success of such a national programme. He said that it should include the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Livestock, Finance, Industry and Commerce. more..

Parliament will decide on PC Polls this week: Kiriella

Feb 19 (CT) All political parties in the Parliament will convene and take a decision on the Provincial Councils Elections this week, stated Minister Lakshman Kiriella. He stated this while speaking an event held to declare open several newly carpeted roads in the Yati-Nuwara electoral division on 17 February. He added that “Everyone says it is the UNP that postpones the Elections, however, we always wanted more..

Rs. 15 b from AFD for waste water disposal project

Feb 19 (FT) A loan agreement was signed between the Govt of Sri Lanka and Agency for French Development (AFD) for a Rs. 15 billion waste water disposal project in Ratmalana and Moratuwa yesterday. The financing agreement was signed by Finance and Mass Media Ministry Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga and AFD Country Director Martin Parent, in the presence of Ambassador of France Eric Lavertu at more..

France to help Lankan fisheries sector: French Ambassador visits the port of Galle

Feb 19 (Island) Sri Lanka’s fisheries sector provides employment for about 600 000 people (nearly 10% of the total labor force and a quarter of agricultural sector’s employees). It forms an essential pillar to the country’s food security by supplying more than 60% of the animal proteins consumed by the population. Besides, it is also a more and more significant source of revenues in foreign currencies for Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka to tap bond market for $2 bln after Chinese loan delay

Feb 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will bring forward a plan to raise $2 billion through the bond market after a delay in a pledged loan from Bank of China, sources close to the deal said on Monday. The central bank will seek to issue the bond as early as the first week of March after a discussion with the IMF that started on Monday. Sri Lanka is struggling to repay its foreign loans, with a record $5.9 billion due this year more..