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Karannagoda files FR against arrest

Feb 25 (DM) Former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda today filed a fundamental rights (FR) petition in the Supreme Court (SC) seeking an interim order preventing him from being arrested in connection with the investigations into the abduction and killing of 11 youths in 2008-2009. He cited OIC Nishantha Silva and Director Shani Abeysekera of the Organised Crimes Investigation Unit as well as more..

Video: Mahindananda’s son arrested over accident that injured Borella Traffic OIC

Feb 25 (AD) The son of UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s son has been arrested over a hit-and-run accident which hospitalized the Borella Traffic OIC in Bamabalapitiya, stated Police Media Spokesperson. The Traffic OIC of the Borella Police, who had been en route to the Kollupitiya Police, had met with an accident when the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a Defender in Bambalapitiya, around 4.35 am last morning. more..

Video: Driver of OIC hit-and-run case remanded; seven suspects bailed

Feb 25 (AD) The Driver of the defender involved in the hit-and-run case which injured the Borella Traffic OIC has been remanded until the 11th of March, as per the order of Colombo Additional Magistrate Isuru Neththikumara. Seven others, who were arrested over the incident, including the son of MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, have been granted bail with two sureties of Rs 500,000 on each suspect. more..

What the PM needed to make clearer during his visit to the North

Feb 26 (CT) The commencement of the UNHRC session this week has prompted the govt to give renewed attention to post-war issues to which the international community has given its attention. Prez Sirisena has said that Sri Lanka is considering withdrawing its co-sponsorship of the Oct 2015 resolution at UNHRC which wants the govt to address accountability issues, including alleged violations of human rights during the final phase of the military operations to defeat the LTTE. more..

Failing stage: A time to review power, wealth & moral responsibility

Feb 26 (CT) SL society seems to have been turned on its head by a strange and addictive phenomenon. What might be this unwelcome development that is making this a topsy-turvy country? The problem is the over emphasis on economic success for the promoters of political power, mythology and the advertising media, which has resulted in a de-emphasis on profoundly important things such as our relationships with other human beings as well as with our natural environment. more..

Karannagoda deemed flight risk

Feb 26 (SO) The Controller General of Immigration and Emigration has been ordered to prevent former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda from leaving the country, after CID sleuths informed court on Friday that the Admiral was a flight risk. Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake issued the order after OIC, CID Gang Robberies Branch Nishantha Silva filed a B report saying that Admiral Karannagoda had evaded summons more..

Diplomats in search of a hangman’s noose

Feb 26 (ST) That was unfair, terribly unfair, burdening some of our super-class diplomats (no cracks please) to go find a sturdy rope to serve as a hangman’s noose. True, our patriotic thinkers from the frontlines of Sri Lanka’s diplomatic corps have, over the years, performed many tasks, which their professional counterparts from some capitals of the world would have cringed at doing, if they did them at all. They would have helped send various packages with undisclosed contents to more..

Arun and his strange bedfellows

Feb 26 (CT) Chathura Alwis’s interview with the so-called AAWA Group’s Arun, became an instant hit with the Sinhalese. Since then, Arun met with Ranil Wickremesinghe and participated with Nagananda Kodituwakku at a press conference. Those who participated at the media briefing stated that they are not against any person, but only their stance. Yet, the media coverage was only of their criticism against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

Sri Lanka's struggle with climate financing

Feb 26 (Roar) Sri Lanka has had its fair share of natural disasters as a result of climate change. If things do not change—as predicted by experts—we can expect more devastating catastrophes. However, with the most recent reports of global warming and climate change around the world, Sri Lanka, as an island, has to take a proactive stance to mitigate and face natural calamities. more..

Speaking Malay in Kompannaveediya

Feb 26 (GV) The Kompannaveediya area has seen rapid transformation over the last decade. What is being termed urban development, in the form of skyscrapers and luxury properties, has come at the cost of several homes and landmarks being demolished, fundamentally changing the nature of the area. Beneath the surface, other changes and erasures are taking place. Speaking to Groundviews in lieu of International Mother Language Day (Feb 21), five residents of the area – more..

Edtorial: Talent shows: Harsh reality

Feb 26 (Island) Popular singer Rookantha Gunathilaka has been attacked by the supporters of a contestant who got knocked out of a talent contest, in which the victim served as a judge. The irate mob waylaid the singer, after the show, on Saturday night. This being the situation in the music field, Gunathilaka, who was recently appointed the UNP organizer for Dambadeniya, had better brace himself for far worse incidents in politics. He first suffered at the hands of a group of thugs in 2000. more..

Face the Nation

Resolving the foreign debt trap and reducing external financial vulnerability

Feb 26 (ST) The current foreign debt of about US$ 53 billion that is about 77% of GDP is unsustainable. This year’s debt servicing costs of more than US$ 5 billion, together with the high debt servicing costs in the next few years, is a massive burden. Since we are unable to service the debt with foreign earnings, we are continuing to borrow to repay debt. Consequently our foreign debt and external financial vulnerability is increasing. Getting out of this foreign debt trap is imperative. more..

Early Pharmaceutical Policies and Role of Senaka Bibile

Feb 26 (Island) During the early 1970’s, Sirima Bandaranaike govt was relying heavily on a set of public sector corporations for industrial and technological development. The private sector played a smaller role due to lack of incentives and opportunities. It was around this time that Prof. Senaka Bibile persuaded the govt to set up the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC), for importing and distributing pharmaceuticals in Sri Lanka. The SPC radically changed the way more..

Tough talking Rixon assures fielding excellence by World Cup

Feb 26 (Island) During SL’s historic series win in South Africa, the batting heroics of Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis and Oshada Fernando have been highlighted along with the probing spells of Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha and Suranga Lakmal. One of the areas that has gone unnoticed is the fielding excellence displayed by the tourists both in Durban and Port Elizabeth. SL’s fielding has been horrendous in recent times and dropped more..

New tour of Sri Lanka is inspired by the orphans of the tsunami

Feb 26 (ES) Sri Lanka has held the top spot on destination hotlists for years. And for good reason, too. From ancient cultures to exceptionally preserved ruins, a celebrated culinary scene to five-star retreats, pristine beaches, lush national parks and rare wildlife - it's obvious the Pearl of the Indian Ocean really does have a lot to shout about. Just as noteworthy is the tourism boom the country has been experiencing of late. Thanks to the arrival of a string of boutique hideaways, more..

How the cricket world celebrated Kusal’s epic ton

Feb 26 (ST) Kusal Perera’s epic knock of 153 not out in SL’s thrilling 1-wicket win against South Africa at Kingsmead last week, received high praise from all over the world. Perera not only proved that he is a fitting material for any form of cricket, but also took away a possible and easy win from South Africa, after spending almost five hours and facing 200 deliveries. The one-of-a-kind knock by Perera was sort of an unexpected shower to the dried out and worn out Sri Lanka cricket fans, more..

Onsite evaluation to get SL off FATF grey list

Feb 26 (FT) Sri Lanka is hopeful it will be removed from an international money laundering list following an onsite assessment that is expected in May by the Financial Action Task Force, which could see the country removed from the Grey List by June, Central Bank said. Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global policy-setter on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), more..

'Complacent? Not true at all' - SA coach

Feb 26 (CI) Did playing on consistently difficult pitches at home sap South Africa's top order of the confidence required to put Sri Lanka away? Coach Ottis Gibson, who has spearheaded the campaign to play on almost uniformly fast-and-bouncy pitches at home, thinks not. South Africa have publicly acknowledged that their new philosophy, which enshrines fast bowling, has come at a cost for batsmen, who have largely seen their averages retreat over the past two home seasons. more..

HNB Group ups after tax profit by 14%

Feb 26 (FT) HNB Group has recorded a Profit Before Tax of Rs. 26.5 billion and a Profit After Tax of Rs. 19.1 billion, posting a year-on-year (YOY) growth of 14.6% and 14.4%, respectively, for the year ended 2018 in a clear demonstration of the resilience of the Group’s robust business model despite an array of challenges faced by the industry. HNB said in a statement that driven by sound loan book growth and improved margins, Interest Income grew by 12.4% YOY to Rs. 108.1 billion. more..

We dedicate this win to all who supported us

Feb 26 (DN) Sri Lanka’s stand-in captain Dimuth Karunaratne dedicated his team’s historic 2-0 series win in South Africa to all who supported them through thick and thin. Sri Lanka became the first subcontinent nation to win a Test series in South Africa and only the third in history after Australia and England. “We have to dedicate this win to all the guys who supported us, the SL fans who supported us. more..

Estate unions’ Rs.1000 demo kicks off in Mar

Feb 26 (ST) The agreed wage hike of estate workers between plantation companies and some unions has come in for further flak by the All Ceylon Estate Workers Union (ACEWU) whose 7000-strong membership will commence demonstrations from March 3 in Hatton. ACEWU Secretary J.M.A. Premaratne insisted that workers who were promised a Rs.1000 wage hike must be given this highlighting that the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) were amassing massive profits. more..

LOLC joins the trillion club

Feb 26 (FT) Sustaining its unblemished track record in performance, the LOLC Group has crossed the trillion mark, with total assets reaching Rs. 1.008 trillion as at Dec 2018. This significant achievement is on account of the Group’s consistently resilient financial sector – both local and international – coupled with its strategic investments in non-financial sectors – Leisure, Plantations, Construction, Healthcare, Trading and Manufacturing. more..

Sri Lanka has begun implementing UN resolutions on North Korea: FATF

Feb 26 (NKN) Sri Lanka has begun implementing UN resolutions against North Korea, according to a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) statement provided to the country’s central bank. FATF is an intergovernmental organization that combats money laundering and terrorist financing. FATF listed SL’s implementation progress alongside numerous changes the country was making in order to get off the organizations grey list, more..

Sri Lanka to make Colombo smart port with automated functions

Feb 26 (EN) Ports and shipping ministry said it will spend 929 million rupees to modernise information technology at Colombo port to make it a smart port with many automated functions to improve efficiency. Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said he expects the process of IT upgrades to streamline terminal management and cargo systems to be completed in 12-18 months. "There are many technical aspects to this. For instance, the upgraded Terminal Management System will include more..

Northern businesses faced market shock from post-war road links

Feb 26 (EN) Businesses in northern Sri Lanka struggling to recover after the end of the ethnic war 10 years ago were subject to a market shock with the reopening of road links, a new study has found. After three decades of war, the post-war social and economic challenges were tremendous, according to the central bank-sponsored study to revive the northern economy. The northern province lagged behind the rest of the country in terms of the destroyed and underdeveloped infrastructure, more..

'Indebtedness among Northern marginalized women, a principal development challenge'

Feb 26 (Island) One of the main economic challenges for the Northern Province is the heavy indebtedness among marginalized women of the area, which needs to be addressed, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. "Measures have been taken for reconciliation, empowerment of marginalised women and enabling access to funding will propel development in the North. Because women indebtedness is very high in more..

Sri Lanka’s demining program commended at Geneva’s International Director’s Meeting

Feb 26 (FT) The 30-year-long civil conflict in Sri Lanka left many areas of the Northern and Eastern part of the country contaminated by anti-personnel mines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). The International Meeting on Mine Action for National Directors and UN Advisors was held from 5 to 8 February in Geneva at the UN office. This meeting was aimed at discussing the lesson learnt, best practices and emerging issues of the mine-affected countries. more..

Special Police team in Seychelles after drugs smuggling ring

Feb 26 (DN) A special team of sleuths from the police acting on intelligence information visited Seychelles to explore a trail of drug smuggling activities between Sri Lanka and Seychelles. The team comprised of DIG of the Police Narcotic Bureau Sajeewa Medawatta, IP Subodha from the PNB and SI Premalal from the Special Task Force. The police were on the trail of the large heroin haul of 231 kilograms which was discovered along the Beruwala – Balapitiya beach area. more..

National survey on exact number of drug addicts to get underway

Feb 26 (CT) The first task of the Interim Authority, appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena, with regard to setting up a Governmental Authority, with a mechanism for the rehabilitation of drug addicts, will be to conduct a national, island-wide survey to ascertain the exact number of drug users. The Eight Member Interim Authority, appointed last week, is to meet again tomorrow (26). According to the Presidential Task Force on more..

'Parliamentary privileges subject to law of the land, and MPs not entitled to separate laws'

Feb 26 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella says Parliamentary privileges are subject to the law of the land and MPs are not entitled to separate laws. The Minister said so while addressing a UNP meeting at Horowpathana electorate on Sunday. The Minister said: "These days Parliamentarians are facing all kinds of charges. However, I am serving as the Leader of the House for both the ruling party and the Opposition. When MPs face allegations, it is my duty to protect them. more..

Video: Youth files complaint at Police Commission against Sajith

Feb 26 (AD) A youth has lodged a complaint at the Police Commission claiming that he was requested by a secretary of Minister Sajith Premadasa, via the Police Superintendent (SP) of Tangalle Division, to plant an illegal item on the vehicle of MP D.V. Chanaka. He was instructed to commit this deed in order to gain employment at the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, said the youth. Reportedly, a youth named Ajith Lakmal, a resident of Dagonna, Negombo, had lodged a complaint with Police Commission more..

Mihin CEO’s arbitray action led to commercial head’s resignation

Feb 26 (Island) Former CEO of Mihin Lanka, Sajin Vass Gunawardena in 2007 had informed the then Head of Commercial Division, Sugathadasa Rajapakshe, of the airline, that he would decide on the prices of air tickets and that had led to Rajapakshe’s resignation. Rajapakshe, who currently works as a consultant to Air India, told the PCoI that the incident had occurred in mid 2007. "The season when a lot of people were more..

Two army officers who attempted to extort money from businessman arrested

Feb 26 (FT) Officers of the Special Task Force of the Hambantota camp in a raid have arrested two army officers for attempting to extort money from a businessman. The two suspects have asked for money from a businessman to obtain the assistance of the high-ranking police officers including the STF commandant for the businessman to continue his sand business without interference. They had asked for extortion money from a sand businessman in the Ethiliwewa area in Thanamalwila. more..

House of Madush’s associate in connection with several crimes raided

Feb 26 (AD) Crimes prevention unit of Matara police division has today (25) raided the house of a suspect, who is in connection with the murder of an SLPP PS member in Hakmana and a gem businessman in Kamburupitiya area. Police officers have recovered several army uniforms, 21 live ammunitions for T-56 rifles, a pair of handcuffs used by the army, several books containing illustrative tutorials on using firearms have been seized from the house in Meepavita area, Kamburupitiya. more..

Ramanayake’s evidence lacks accuracy: Probe Committee

Feb 26 (CT) UNP’s 4-member committee, appointed to probe the claims made by State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, about MPs who allegedly use cocaine, has reportedly concluded that they could not be satisfied with the accuracy of latter’s testimony given before the committee. Following the arrest of notorious underworld drug kingpin Makandure Madush in Dubai, Ramanayake made a controversial more..

Video: I will create a strong country in near future: Mahinda

Feb 26 (AD) The Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa says that he believes he will be able to create a strong country in the near future. He stated this attending a opening ceremony held in Koggala today (25). He points out that during the recent past, over 500,000 youth lost their jobs and that it is evident from the Central Bank report. This situation has arisen due to the collapse of the country’s economy and this situation should be changed, Rajapaksa further said. more..

Carlo appeals to Ranjan

Feb 26 (CT) Former Chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA), Professor Carlo Fonseka appealed to his nephew and Deputy Minister, Ranjan Ramanayake to halt his daring and brave comments and revelations concerning drugs, as they would surely get him assassinated. Responding to a question, regarding the Deputy Minister’s most recent revelation, Prof. Fonseka jokingly appealed to Dy Minister to save him from paying tribute at yet another funeral. more..

Wiggy calls for setting up UN office in North

Feb 26 (Island) A UN office must be established in the North in order to probe wartime disappearances and human rights abuses, former Chief Minister of the Northern Province, CV Wigneswaran said, yesterday, after taking part in an event in Kilinochchi. SL govt was challenging the Geneva Resolution and would thwart any war crimes probe, former CM said, urging the UN not to grant SL any more time to fulfil its Geneva commitments. more..

Another blunder in the offing: Abolishing Grade five scholarship exam

Feb 26 (DM) By the late 1940s,Sri Lanka had a formidable network of English medium schools operated by the colonial government, missionaries, Buddhist and other faith based organizations. Contrary to the bunkum that was later advanced as a means of justifying the post-independent demolishing of this system, those facilities were spread out in the country; they were found even in the most unlikely corners. There was one in a few miles from my ancestral village. more..