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Exposé: Sirisena-Wickremesinghe intervene to protect Corrupt FCID Chief Cop

Feb 22 (CT) Intervention at the highest levels of Government has permitted Senior DIG Ravi Waidyalankara to continue as head of the FCID despite serious allegations of corruption and sabotage of sensitive investigations being levelled against the high-ranking cop. In May 2018 Waidyalankara was given a service extension of eight months by the UNP-led Govt when he reached the retirement age of 60. more..

Vijayakala’s case postponed to May 10

Feb 22 (AD) Colombo Magistrate’s Court has ordered to take up the case filed against State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran over her controversial statement regarding the LTTE organization on 10th of May. The case was heard before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today. Organized Crime Prevention Division (OCPD) today informed the court that the investigations into the incident have been concluded and relevant reports were subsequently more..

Suspect arrested with 7kg of narcotics

Feb 22 (NR) Police have arrested an individual in possession of a stock of heroin and hashish worth over nearly Rs.80 million in Negombo. The raid was carried out by the CID of Negombo. The stock of heroin was discovered when the vehicle the suspect was travelling in was stopped by Police for a search. Following questioning Police discovered the stock of hash at a rented house in Nittambuwa. Accordingly Police seized over 4kg of heroin and 3kg of hashish during the raid. more..

Ruwan Wijewardene sworn in as non-cabinet minister for Mass Media

Feb 22 (CT) In a sudden move Minister for Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera has tendered his resignation as Minister for Mass Media, paving the way for the appointment of Ruwan Wijewardene as new minister for Media but the ministerial shuffle is already being criticised as one rife with conflict of interest issues. Ruwan W. is the son of Ranjith Wijewardene Chairman of Wijeya Newspapers Pvt Ltd. more..

Arson attack: Four Aava group members arrested

Feb 22 (Island) The Jaffna police in the early hours of yesterday arrested four members of the Aava group following attacks on two houses in Kokuvil with petrol bombs. They were arrested in two different places in the area and the police took into custody a motorcycle the suspects had used for the attack and two swords, three matchets and some other sharp weapons. The attack had been launched on Feb 19, the police said. The police with the assistance of Kokuvil police traced more..

Special meeting to be held between President and MR

Feb 22 (DN) A meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksha will be held this evening. All leaders representing the UPFA have been invited for the discussion, and will hold a lengthy discussion on the holding of provincial council elections. This meeting will discuss the alliance that is to be formed between the SLFP and SLPP and regarding the May Day celebration. However, the venue has not yet been announced. more..

Sri Lanka growth may have slowed to 3% GDP in 2018, 4% target in 2019

Feb 22 (EN) SL is expecting 3% economic growth in 2018, lower than earlier forecast but growth could pick up to 4% in 2019, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. In 2019, SL would benefit from good harvests in the Maha season following the end of a drought. He said high reservoir levels would also help hydro power generation. Numbers may also be boosted by a base effect, with lower growth last year. more..

Trains delayed due to trade union action

Feb 22 (AD) Commuting several trains has been delayed this morning due to a trade union action launched by a group of locomotive engine drivers. Yal Devi train, which was scheduled to set off at 6.35 a.m. from Colombo Fort station and the Matara-bound express train set to leave at 6.30 a.m. from Maradana station were delayed accordingly, the Railway Control Room stated. However, necessary measures are being implemented to commute other trains as scheduled, more..

Ranjan faces blood test

Feb 22 (DM) State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake is reported to have voluntarily undergone a blood and urine test at a private hospital in Colombo today in connection with his allegations that there were ministers and MPs who used cocaine. He had done so to prove that he was clean and according to the lab reports posted on his Facebook, the results were negative. Meanwhile, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had appointed a four-member committee headed by Minister Lakshman Kiriella and more..

Call to release land to revive war-torn north

Feb 22 (EN) MPs from SL’s north called for releasing military-occupied land to help revive agriculture and create jobs in a region still struggling to recover 10 years after the Tamil Tiger separatist rebellion was crushed. The most urgent need was short-term programs to create jobs for people, they told a finance ministry forum to discuss the economic development framework for the Northern Province master plan commissioned by CB. more..

MR wants paddy purchase price increased

Feb 22 (CT) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa told Parliament that the purchasing price of a kilogram of paddy from farmers should be increased to Rs 50. Rajapaksa making a special statement, said that although the Govt claims that Rs 5 billion has been allocated to purchase paddy, it was not sufficient in comparison with the expected harvest. "Also, the Govt has not set up paddy storages to the date despite saying that funds have been allocated for purchasing paddy. more..

Petition filed seeking investigation into assault on prison inmates

Feb 22 (AD) A writ petition has been filed seeking the Court of Appeal to order the IGP to launch an investigation into the violent assault on the inmates of Angunakolapelessa Prison. Petition was filed by Sudesh Nandimal of Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners. Minister of Justice and Prison Reforms Thalatha Atukorale, IGP, Director of CID, Superintendent of Angunakolapelessa Prison and the Commissioner General of Police and three others have been named as the respondent more..

BIA's lack of capacity seen as stumbling block to attracting greater tourist numbers

Feb 22 (Island) The lack of capacity at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to handle heavy traffic is the stumbling block to attracting a large volume of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka, Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga said. "SL Tourism Development Authority could attract more than five million tourists per year but unfortunately the airport cannot control such huge traffic. more..

Depleting fish harvest

Feb 22 (CT) SL’s fish stocks, depleted due to Indian fisher poaching, saw its harvest decline by 0.8% to 527.1 million kilos last year. However, coconut production, made buoyant due to the rains experienced in the island’s lowlands, grew by 7.1% to 2,623.1 million nuts, last year. Previously, a prolonged drought, begun after the 2015/2016 Maha paddy harvest and which continued up to Yala 2017, impacted agriculture crops, including rice and coconut, during that period. more..

Sri Lanka the cynosure at Thai Travel Fair

Feb 22 (FT) The 2019 edition of the Thai Int'l Travel Fair was held in Bangkok, Thailand last week. The inauguration was held at the Bangkok Convention Center at Central World Bangkok followed by a gala dinner at Centara Grand. The event was attended by over 500 tourism stakeholders from around the world including Sri Lanka. The Chief Guest at the inauguration was the Tourism Minister of Thailand while the Guest of Honour was the Tourism Minister of SL, John Amaratunga who received more..

Video: CID identifies where Rathgama businessmen were murdered and burned

Feb 22 (AD) CID has identified that the two businessmen, who went missing from Rathgama area, were murdered in Akmeemana and their remains were burned at Medagangoda Forest Reserve in Walasmulla. Police Media Spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekara said. It is reported that the two businessmen were assaulted and murdered inside a house in Gonamulla area of Akmeemana police division and the Galle Magistrate has already more..

UNDP, SLTDA to establish National Sustainable Tourism Certification Scheme

Feb 22 (DN) SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) initiated the National Sustainable Tourism Certification Scheme, NSTCS for Sri Lanka Tourism with the technical and financial assistance of Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) of UNDP. The main reason for the Project to have started is to put into action the Sri Lanka Tourism Strategic Plan TSP 2017-2020. In the TSP, sustainability occupies an important place. Sustainable tourism in all aspects of tourism development and more..

US Ambassador commends Sri Lanka’s progress in using renewable energy

Feb 22 (AD) Minister Ravi Karunanayake and US Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz have held a discussion which focused on solutions for the possible energy crisis in the near future and placing Sri Lanka in the forefront among the world’s top business entities. The discussion was held at the Ministry of Power, Energy and Business Development recently. Minister Karunanayake has said that a crisis that concerns meeting the increasing energy demands is certain and more..

Lakmal, Dhananjaya give Sri Lanka a chance of historic win

Feb 22 (CI) As many as 19 wickets tumbled on day two at St George's Park, leaving the second Test dangling on a razor's edge. After three innings unfolded on a manic day, SL were 137 runs away from becoming only the third side - after England and Australia - to secure a Test series win in South Africa. How did it come down to this after SL were dismissed for 154 in their first innings, conceding a 58-run first-innings lead? more..

Safeguarding the Temple of Justice

Feb 23 (DN) The Speech delivered by former President BASL Upul Jayasuriya at the conference organised by Bar Association of India and LawAsia. Constitution in which ever the part of the world, I don’t think would be in a crisis. After all it’s a piece of paper. It is those who seek to interpret and enforce or seek shelter under the constitution that will be in a crisis. Let me quote from Dr. BR Ambedkar, the Chairman of the Constitutional drafting committee also known as father of Indian Constitution. more..

Sri Lanka’s best Test batsmen 1-To-7 Today

Feb 23 (CT) In presenting my preferences I have been informed both by my limited observations and by the comments of friends For my part the first consideration is the need for a wicket-keeper. While Chandimal, the two Kusals and Dickwella can all keep, if memory serves me right Ranjit Fernando indicated that Dickwella was the sharpest, so he is one of my first choices. We need another bowler (especially if Angelo is restricted from bowling). So Dhananjaya de Silva is another must more..

The left bank of Sri Lankan Cinema: Dharmasena Pathiraja

Feb 23 (Roar) Sri Lankan cinema’s first revolution happened with the coming of the great Lester James Peiris. His movies approached realism rather than the staged movies based on Indian cinema that were popular at the time. In the two decades since Peiris’ debut, Sri Lankan cinema followed his lead but—apart from an occasional outlier— focused on largely apolitical and dramatic themes. Dharmasena Pathiraja and more..

The patriot, the journalist, the newspaper magnate and the man

Feb 23 (DN) This assessment comes from the pen of the pre-eminent figure in modern Sinhala literature, prolific author and one whose writings took in, inter alia, social studies in both Sinhala and English. Active for some 25 years in newspaper and literary journalism, most of them as Editor of the Dinamina or the Silumina, Wijewardene's, daily and Sunday newspapers, he was in a specially advantaged position to appraise Wijewardene's contribution through his newspapers and more..

The counter terrorism act could crush organised workers

Feb 23 (CT) The Counter Terrorism Bill presented to parliament by Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana on 9 Oct 2018 is being sold to the public as a lesser evil, but the Bill’s implications for workers and trade unions is a severely under-discussed concern. Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) is meant to be a replacement of, and improvement on, the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) which was enacted in 1978. The PTA has a gruesome history and has been widely criticised by more..

Mannar mass grave: All eyes on carbon dating test report

Feb 23 (DN) Although the report on the radiocarbon dating test on the samples of skeletal remains from the mass grave in Mannar has been handed over to the Magistrate’s Court by Specialist JMO Saminda Rajapaksa, Mannar Magistrate T. Saravanarajah told court that as the courts had still not received the report officially, a specific statement on it cannot be made. This was revealed when the case filed at the Mannar Magistrate’s Court more..

Marking Missing Lovers Day

Feb 23 (SO) I lost our house, Your friends became foes, I lost you too, This was my fate. Our children question me now, ‘Where is our father?’ They ask, My heart aches in pain, What can I tell them? This is a rough translation of the love song S. H. Nandaseeli, from Hambanthota, wrote and sang in Sinhala to the tune of a popular Sri Lankan ballad on Thursday - Valentine’s Day. She was one of the 56 women who came to Colombo from areas such as Galle, Matara and Batticaloa more..

SL-Canadian student wins Dance Your Ph.D.

Feb 23 (Island) It takes two to tango, but nothing gets shy electrons to perk up like Swing dancing. It took six weeks of choreographing and songwriting for 27-year-old Pramodh Senarath Yapa to translate his jargon-ridden master's thesis, titled 'Non-Local Electrodynamics of Superconducting Wires: Implications for Flux Noise and Inductance' to 'Superconductivity: The Musical!', a 11-minute self-explanatory video that scooped the 2018 Dance Your Ph.D. contest. more..


Pumpkin Festival: A solution to the bumper harvest

Feb 23 (SO) The humble pumpkin is in the news today due to the bumper crop which has resulted in farmers struggling to get reasonable prices for their produce. In the Districts of Ampara, Anuradhapura and Moneragala where pumpkins grow in abundance during this time of the year, farmers have been so hard hit by falling prices that some of them are opting to give away their produce free, rather than let them rot and go to waste. It is the story of such farmers that has inspired more..

Edtorial: Tsar and commissars

Feb 23 (Island) The polyandrous yahapalana marriage produced several children and one of them became President Sirisena’s favourite. He lamented, the other day, that the precious child had been abused. He flew into a fury and vented his spleen on the child abusers. President Sirisena went ballistic, in Parliament, on Thursday, tearing as he did into his estranged yahapalana allies. Lambasting the Constitutional Council (CC), he likened the 19th Amendment to a child who had been abused. more..

The Battle for 19 is struggle for Democracy

Feb 23 (Island) Nineteen is the last of the teen years, and many think that moving to 19 was still being a teenager and not an adult. One had to hit 20/21 for that. We are caught in a different number issue. Today, 19 is the stuff of crooked political debate. Those who were most active in supporting the move to 19 from 18, in the Constitution, are showing they wish to take a huge step back. Yes…back to 18. more..

Sri Lanka 137 runs away from creating history in South Africa

Feb 23 (Island) "Sri Lanka need 137 to win 2-0 in South Africa. Safe to say that would rank among the great upsets," tweeted Lawrence Booth, the Editor of Wisden at stumps yesterday. Whether their batsmen are up to the task to create history remains to be seen but what a tremendous performance it was by their bowlers here in Port Elizabeth. A bowler short due to the injury of Lasith Embuldeniya, the tourists did a remarkable job to bowl South Africa out for 128. Then after the openers had added 32 more..

Lectra Sri Lanka Golf: Sisira Kumara wins inaugural event

Feb 23 (CT) Sisira Kumara, top ranked amateur golfer in 2018, confirmed his supremacy with four rounds of sub-par scores, sealing a comfortable victory with a closing round of 65 – six under par to accumulate a 15 under four rounds aggregate. Kumara was 13 strokes clear of Runner-up Narahenpitage Amarapathma, whose closing even par round gave him a total of 282 – two under par aggregate score. Veteran J.M.D. Indika’s closing round of 70 helped him collect 3rd place more..

No bluster, no aura, only Suranga

Feb 23 (CI) Knock him out so he falls on to the stumps. This is Shane Bond's fantasy cricket dismissal. Can a plane take off without a run-up? There's Shoaib Akhtar bristling at being asked to shorten his run-up to improve over-rates. This is my place. I will be back soon, to reclaim what is mine. That one is Mohammad Asif, after being briefly losing his spot in the side. Fast bowlers all. With fast-bowling attitudes. Collars popped. more..

Coach unhappy with SA's complacency

Feb 23 (CI) South Africa were complacent heading into this Sri Lanka series. This is not the opinion of reporters, fans, or commentators, but that of the team's own batting coach Dale Benkenstein, after he watched his team collapse to 128 all out on the second day in Port Elizabeth. Right through the series, South Africa have been modest with the bat, recording a highest-score of 259 across four completed innings. No South Africa batsman has hit a hundred, and only Faf du Plessis, more..

Isipathana 169, Thurstan 154/5

Feb 23 (CT) Thurstan College, Colombo scored 154 runs for 4 wickets in reply to Isipathana College’s total of 169 runs in their 56th annual cricket encounter at the SSC Grounds, Colombo yesterday. Thurstan College won the toss and elected to field. Isiptahana College was bowled out for 169 runs in 57.1 overs, with Thevindu Dickwella scoring 40 runs and Savindu Uthsara notching up 30. Isuru Sandamal (26) and Ravindu Rathnayake (20) added to the total. more..

CB injects liquidity with reserve ratio change

Feb 23 (FT) The Central Bank yesterday reduced the Statutory Reserve Ratio (SRR) by 1% to 5% with effect from 1 March with the aim of injecting Rs. 60 billion into the market to spur growth and reduce liquidity shortages, but kept policy rates unchanged to offset a spike in inflation and spillover into imports. The Monetary Board kept the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of more..

Airport and Aviation Services enjoined by Commercial CHC

Feb 23 (FT) The Commercial High Court of Colombo issued an Enjoining Order against Airport and Aviation Services (SL) Ltd., restraining it from taking any measures from awarding the franchise of advertising in Pier No 1 including Boarding Gates of BIA till 1 March. High Court Judge M. Prasantha De Silva issued this order pursuant to the plaint of aggrieved Plaintiff Richardson Outdoor Ltd. Chandaka Jayasundere PC with Shivaan Kanag Iswaran and Rehan Almeida instructed by more..

Budget should limit spend on cars, overseas travel to politicians

Feb 23 (ST) Budget 2019, to be presented next month, should focus on immediate sharp reduction of imports, increased exports with relevant FDI and improved transparency and governance all round to create an enabling environment. This recommendation is contained in a proposal submitted by a group of individuals calling itself an Independent Group of Professionals. In a statement, the group said: “Since the early 1950s foreign currency earnings of SL have been less than more..

Himasha, Suranjaya set for blockbuster 100 metres showdown

Feb 23 (Island) National record holder Himasha Eshan and his former training partner turned arch rival Vinoj Suranjaya blazed the track with stunning 100 metres performances as they provided a promising start to the new season of track and field sports, which is still trying to come to terms with the doping debacle of the last season. Stunning performances of the sprint duo were recorded on day one of the first selection trial more..