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Colombo Fashion Week set to dazzle once again

Feb 23 (Island) Over 30 designers, local and international, are set to showcase their creations at Colombo Fashion Week over a period of four days commencing February 25 to March 3, Ajai V. Singh, Founder/ president, CFW said. It will be partnered by HSBC. International designers will include Rajes Pratap Singh and Sukit Dir. Sri Lankan designers will feature Sonali Dharamawardane, Charini Suriyage, Annika Fernando, Sharmila Ruberu, Dimuthu Sahabandu, Fauzul Hameed, more..

Get ready to fall under their spell

Feb 23 (ST) Ready for some magic? Award-winning magician and mentalist duo, The Clairvoyants will be in Colombo to weave their spell on the audience at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre on April 4. Austrian duo Amélie van Tass and Thommy Ten are the world champions of mindreading and are all set for a mind-bending show of mentalism and unique illusions presented by Cinnamon Life. Their shows have sold out around the world as they keep audiences mesmerized with their tricks and illusions. more..

Halt executions, Mr. President: Amnesty

Feb 23 (AI) SL’s President, Maithripala Sirisena, should halt his plans to resume executions after more than four decades to execute at least 13 people for drug-related crimes, Amnesty International said. In an open letter, AI’s Secretary General, Kumi Naidoo, urges Prez Sirisena to fulfil SL’s int'l commitments, respect the right to life, and shun executions that have been proven to have a unique deterrent effect on crime. more..

Shangri-La hosts four day Expo, showcasing a range of health and wellness products

Feb 23 (Island) The much anticipated So SL IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo Expo will showcase a range of health and wellness products from across the world, and will be held from February 21st to the 24th, 2019 at the Shangri-La Hotel Colombo, Lotus Ballroom. The timings for the Expo would be Thursday and Friday from 10am to 7pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am till 4pm. It will be the meeting point of 3,000 athletes, well-wishers and spectators while it will house the registration, more..

HAC assures no pig fat in milk powder imports

Feb 23 (FT) The Halal Accreditation Council (HAC) yesterday assured the public that their test reports had shown no trace of pig fat in milk power imported to Sri Lanka and said they would further investigate the matter if officials share credible evidence. HAC said it wishes to clarify its position regarding the current confusion in the country over the alleged pig fat contamination in milk powder imported from New Zealand. This is consequent to an announcement made in Parliament by Deputy Minister more..

Contempt of court action against Dr. Padeniya fixed for inquiry

Feb 23 (DN) The contempt of court case filed against GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya for allegedly undermining the Court of Appeal judgement delivered regarding the SAITM issue was fixed for inquiry by Court of Appeal. Accordingly, Court of Appeal Justice Arjuna Obeysekara fixed the matter for inquiry on May 22 in order to lead evidence regarding the contempt of court action. more..

Govt rejects privatising Southern Expressway

Feb 23 (FT) Govt this week shot down Opposition claims that it was preparing to privatise the Southern Expressway, which was a development program initiated during the former Govt. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that although several expressions of interest were received from foreign entities but the Government is not interested. “Based on the capital requirements of the country, several international companies have offered to assist us in lieu of the Southern Expressway. more..

Public rallies to help pumpkin farmers

Feb 23 (FT) An estimated 100,000 kg of pumpkin were stacked along Green Path yesterday for the first-ever Pumpkin Farmers Festival to aid farmers struggling to sell a bumper harvest and recoup their loans. The event attracted massive crowds who bought generous amounts of pumpkin. In order to facilitate better profits and to promote the crop amongst consumers, Coexist Foundation together with Sarvodaya Development Finance had collaborated with hoteliers, chefs and more..

Indian fruit imports temporarily halted

Feb 23 (CT) The National Plant Quarantine Service (NPQS) has decided to temporarily halt the import of fruits from India to the country due to the inability to fulfill quarantine conditions sought by Sri Lanka. As a result, grapes and pomegranates imported from India will be temporarily halted. Additional Director of the NPQS, Dr. W.A.R.T. Wickremarachchi said that this ban has been in effect since 28 December last year. more..

Samantha Power here for Mangala’s 30 years in politics commemoration

Feb 23 (DN) Diplomat, academic and human rights advocate Ambassador Samantha Power who served the Barack Obama Administration for eight years will deliver keynote address at a special commemorative event to mark Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s 30 years in politics, next week. Samantha Power known for fearlessly blending her deep academic knowledge with compelling moral reasoning to become a human rights champion will speak at an event on Feb 28 3pm onwards at BMICH. more..

Globe trotting Gecko ends up in Chester - after stowing away in Sri Lanka

Feb 23 (ITV) A globe-trotting gecko made an incredible 5,500 mile journey all the way from Sri Lanka to Chester. Reptile was a surprise find for a woman returning from holiday when she went to unpack her suitcase. She spotted the gecko, which was the size of her thumb, on an umbrella which she had in her case. She managed to put the gecko in a sandwich box - with holes in for air - and called the RSPCA. Inspector Leanne Cragg was sent to collect the gecko who has now been taken in by more..

Treasury bond issuance: Top CBSL official contradicts Governor

Feb 23 (Island) Treasury bonds could not be issued to state institutions to bolster their balance sheets by way of budgetary allocations, acting head of legal and compliance division of CBSL, Kudagamage Sirikumara told the PCoI on Thursday. Sirikumara’s position on the issue ran counter to that of Central Bank Governor, Indrajith Coomaraswamy, who had appeared before the PCoI earlier. In terms of Registered Stock & Securities Ordinance, more..

Navy sailor arrested over abduction and disappearance of 11 youths

Feb 23 (CT) A sailor, attached to the Kankesanthurai Navy Camp, was arrested by the CID yesterday, over the alleged abduction and disappearance of 11 youths from Colombo during the period of 2008 and 2009. The 33-year-old suspect was arrested on charges of killing three out of the 11 civilians. Previously, former Navy Lieutenant Commander Chandana Hettiarachchi, alias Navy Sampath, was arrested and remanded in connection with the case while more..

Rathgama businessmen murder: IGP transfers 15 Southern SCIU cops

Feb 23 (CT) IGP Pujith Jayasundera yesterday, ordered the immediate transfer of 15 Police officers, including the Officer-in-Charge of the Southern Province Special Crimes Investigation Unit (SCIU), as CID officers, investigating the controversial abduction of two businessmen from Rathgama, found remains of two burnt bodies confirmed to be of the two victims, in the Madagangoda Forest Reserve in Walasmulla last afternoon. CID team has identified that the two businessmen who went more..

Unruly conduct in Parliament: Speaker turns down Opp request to halt probe

Feb 23 (CT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday, shot down a call by Opposition legislators, led by Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, to stop Police investigations into the unruly incidents that took place in the Chamber on 14, 15 and 16 Nov 2018. They argued on the basis that Parliamentarians are protected by Parliamentary privileges. However, Speaker Jayasuriya declined to adhere to the request more..

A Just Society: Where do we go from here ?

Feb 23 (DM) “If you want peace and development, work for social justice” is the theme of the United Nations World Social Justice Day which was marked this week. In a statement, the world body says, social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous co-existence within and among nations. “We uphold social justice principles when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that more..

Sri Lanka is ageing?

Feb 23 (CT) Large-scale withdrawal of the working human capital from the labour force upon reaching the retirement age can create a shortage of experienced labour in the national workforce. Apart from the experienced human capital, the so-called exodus also creates a vacuum in the labour market and decreases the size of the workforce. The ageing population can have many impacts on the society and the effect it has on the economy is highly stressed. more..

The politics of demonizing federalism and depicting it as separatism

Feb 23 (DM) The year was 1985. Junius Richard Jayawardene was the Sri Lankan President while Rajiv Gandhi was PM of India. The New Delhi facilitated talks between an official SL Govt delegation and six entities representing the SL Tamils were going on in the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu during the months of July and August. SL delegation was led by Prez Jayewardene’s brother H.W. Jayawardene. more..

Computerised Medical Certificates for driving/riding licences

Feb 23 (ST) Plans are afoot for a computerised system for Medical Certificates (MC) for drivers, said National Transport Medical Institute (NTMI) Chairman W.S. Perera. This system would link all 25 District offices of the NTMI with its headquarters, thereby assisting in the quick registration of the driver and the issuance of the MCs. Approximately 700 people obtain MCs daily, consequent to an hour-long medical tests. more..

Sri Lanka developing resolution law for finance companies, acting on legacy cases

Feb 23 (EN) Sri Lanka is working on a resolution law that will help quickly deal finance companies that get into trouble, while clearing a back log legacy firms including a primary dealers that became insolvent 10 years ago, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "We are developing a resolution framework and also an Act for resolution," Governor Coomaraswamy said. He said the existing act governing non-bank lenders also had more..

President instructs to speed up construction work of Uma Oya

Feb 23 (PSL) President instructs to complete the work of Uma Oya by August and to provide the benefits to the people quickly. 92% of the work has been completed of the project and the President instructed the engineers and the relevant parties in charge to work on completing the work of the remaining part of the project. President Sirisena mentioned this engaging in an observational visit to the Uma Oya multi purpose project to inquire more..

Head of UL Finance: ‘I told board we didn’t have money to acquire aircraft

Feb 23 (Island) The Board of Directors at SriLankan Airlines had been informed that the dire financial situation of UL had to be taken into account when it was decided to purchase A 350-900 in 2013, Yasantha Dissanayake, Head of Financial Management at SriLankan told the PCoI. "I have to send monthly financial reports to the board. When SriLankan decided to acquire four Airbus A350-900 and obtain four more, on lease–– more..

SLTB: Mahinda asks govt. to stop unlawful recruitment, promotions and demotions

Feb 23 (Island) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, yesterday, criticised the illegal appointments in the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB). Raising a series of questions on the illegal appointments to the SLTB flouting the SLTB circulars and political revenge against the workers, under Section 27 (2) of the Standing Orders, he said that though the govt had pledged to resolve those issues so far no action had been taken. more..

Brig. Fernando’s matter raised in British parliament

Feb 23 (DM) The matters involving Brigadier Priyanka Fernando and the nature of the role the British Govt played in his departure to Sri Lanka has been raised in the British Parliament last Thursday. MP Stephen Morgan asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what role his Department played in the departure of Brigadier Priyanka Fernando from Britain. The MP also asked what discussions more..

Ex-navy chief Karannagoda faces arrest for murder

Feb 23 (EN) Former navy chief, Wasantha Karannagoda, has been accused of conspiracy to murder and made a suspect in the internationally-condemned killing of 11 young men a decade ago. Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake impounded the retired admiral’s passport on Friday after police named him the 14th suspect in the botched abductions for ransom carried out between 2008 and 2009. more..

100,000+ Refugees want to return home: TNA

Feb 23 (CT) Hundreds of thousands of Tamils living as refugees in India want to return, but are unable to do so, because they have neither houses nor land, said TNA MP Mavai S. Senathirajah. He was speaking at a function held at the Finance Ministry yesterday. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera presided over the occasion. He also requested Samaraweera to invest Rs one billion in the development of the salterns in the North. more..

SL stun SA to seal historic series win

Feb 23 (CI) Sri Lanka arrived in South Africa in a state of utter turmoil - both on and off the field. After less than seven days of cricket, they have become only the third visiting side - after England and Australia - and the first Asian team to clinch a Test series in South Africa. It was Kusal Mendis, who spearheaded the famous win with a regal, unbeaten 84 off 110 balls in a chase of 197. more..

SLC: Guilty until proven innocent

Feb 24 (SO) A sport as central to our national fecundity as cricket deserves critical attention as it goes through the formalities of leadership elections. It is precisely the waning, nay the emasculation, of cricketing energies over a decade and more, that requires Sri Lanka Cricket board elections to be more than just a formality. As we pointed out last week, the SLC has gone through successive cycles of elections with much promise but ending with a repeat of the same failures and crises more..


Feb 24 (CT) UNDP Country Director John Sorensen speaking at a function at the Finance Ministry on Friday implied that the Govt was trying to reinvent the wheel in their report on the need to revive the Northern economy, which was tabled on that day. Among those present at this occasion were TNA MPs and the island’s development partners, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Treasury Secretary and CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy. It was the CB which spearheaded this blueprint. more..

Witness Protection Authority: Still faltering after three years

Feb 24 (SO) Earlier this month, a member of NFF led by Wimal Weerawansa, held a press conference in which he criticised the Govt for attempting to arrest war-time Navy Commander, Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda. NFF politico named several key witnesses in the Navy Abductions case, many of them Navy officers who had agreed to give evidence against senior officials of SL Navy implicated in the alleged racket. more..

Hands off the Constitutional Council

Feb 24 (ST) The Constitutional Council and the Independent Commissions are on the firing line all of a sudden from no less a persona than the President of the Republic. Joining the chorus in a combined attack is the non-JVP, non-TNA Opposition. Their target is the Speaker whom both the President and the JO love to hate these days for clearly political reasons. If the President is complaining, then that in itself is a sign that the Constitutional Council is probably doing something right. more..

The kapruka

Feb 24 (Island) Time was, and probably is, when every school-going child was required to write an essay at some time or other about the ubiquitous coconut tree. The coconut palm is truly a kapruka – a tree of plenty – that has bestowed the people of this country with numerous benefits including food and shelter over millenia. It is rightly claimed that every part of a coconut tree, and not just the nut benefits mankind. Although many take the benefits from coconut, a vital ingredient in SL cuisine, more..

Beauty is but skin deep!

Feb 24 (CT) National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) warned consumers against using fairness products advertised to be containing different formulations of glutathione. NMRA CEO, Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe explained that given that many advertisements were being run on the benefits of glutathione in skin whitening creams, it was important to heed the following warning, made with consultation of College of Dermatologists more..

New face, new gameplan?

Feb 24 (ST) My dear Shammi, I thought of writing to you when I heard that you had been elected to the big chair in the organisation that runs cricket in Paradise. To be honest, this came as a surprise, what with so many court cases and controversies clouding the election until the end. Still, what can we say except congratulations! I know that you are not the most well-known person among our cricket administrators and many people are asking Shammi who? After all, for many years it was Dasas more..

CC debate rages with Prez leading attack

Feb 24 (ST) A day-long adjournment debate on the Constitutional Council (CC), with Prez Sirisena again making an appearance, was the highlight of the final week of Parliamentary proceedings before the Finance Minister’s Budget Speech on March 5. The debate, which had been requested by the UPFA lasted for almost nine hours on Thursday, without even the usual hour-long interruption for lunch. The UPFA, and Opp. Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, have been strongly critical of the conduct of CC, more..

කබීර් හෂීම්, පාඨලී චම්පික මේ ඔබේ අවධානය පිණිසයි

Sri Lanka’s post-war northern industrialisation effort failed: report

Feb 24 (EN) A new study to revive the economy of SL’s war-ravaged northern province said efforts to set up industries in the region, still struggling to recover 10 years after the Tamil Tiger separatist rebellion was crushed, had failed. The Northern Province has one million people of the island’s total population of 21 million with the percentage living below the poverty line at 7.7%, almost double the national average of 4.1%. The region also has high levels of unemployment. more..

Commercial Bank ends 2018 with a solid performance

Feb 24 (AD) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has reported an operating profit of Rs 31.6 billion for the year ended 31st Dec 2018, reflecting a growth of 12.8% before taxes on financial services, in a financial performance SL’s benchmark private bank describes as a “perfect example of progress under duress.” Profit before income tax improved by 10.4% to Rs 25.6 billion, a lower rate of growth attributable to the introduction of the Debt Repayment Levy (DRL) effective 1st Oct 2018, the Bank said more..

Spat between the executive and the legislature to continue

Feb 24 (CT) Though the two main parties – SLFP and SLPP - in much spoken about future political coalition are practically far from ironing out their differences and reaching a final agreement on a Presidential candidate, a crucial meeting took place on Friday between the two groups led by President Sirisena and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa at President’s official residence at Paget Road. more..

Rude end to South Africa's seven series home streak

Feb 24 (CI) 1- Sri Lanka became the first Asian side to win a Test series in South Africa. To put that in context, teams from the subcontinent have played 18 times in this country, losing 16 series and drawing two. This was Sri Lanka's sixth series in South Africa and their first win. 3- Teams that have won a Test series against South Africa in South Africa. Sri Lanka joined England (2015-16) and Australia (2013-14) in achieving this. 242- The total Test match experience of more..