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A nit-picking nation

Feb 26 (DM) Sri Lankans had been a caring nation. People here used to help their neighbours and were hospitable to visitors. If someone was in trouble everyone rushed to help. They surely were not only minding their own business but they were also genuinely concerned about other people’s businessess as well. Most of these wholesome features are maintained to date by almost all ethno-religious communities here. However of late, one has witnessed an unhealthy extension of more..

‘My son hasn’t even seen Madush’

Feb 26 (DM) These are times when underworld drug lord Makandure Madush has shifted the attention of everybody towards narcotics. This is an interview with MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena who once carried out his political work in Makandura. Q: Was Armbawelage Don Upali alias Soththi Upali a member of the UNP Executive Committee? A: Yes. Q: Wasn’t a Presidential pardon given to rapist Gonawala Sunil by Prez J.R. more..

On the trail of Rathgama custodial killings

Feb 26 (ST) Disquiet prevails over parts of Rathgama from where two young businessmen went missing last month and whose charred remains are now believed to have been found inside a forest reserve. The abductions of 31-year-old Kosma Rasin Lasith Chinthaka and 33-year-old Manjula Asela Kumara on January 23 caused turmoil in the small village of Rathnaudanagama at Rathgama in Galle. more..

‘Regulation of songs & videos in buses commendable’

Feb 26 (NR) Chairman of Lanka Private Bus Owners Association Gemunu Wijeratne has commended the move by the National Transport Commission to regulate songs and videos played inside buses. He said failure to compile laws against sound pollution caused within buses is a major shortcoming. Public has on various occasions complained pertaining to the excessively loud music and regarding the ensuing inconvenience. more..

Video: CID recovers vehicle used to transfer remains of Rathgama businessmen

Feb 26 (AD) The CID has recovered the vehicle in which the remains of the two businessmen, who were murdered in Rathgama area, were allegedly transferred to Walasmulla area. It was previously reported that the two businessmen were assaulted and murdered inside a house in Gonamulla area and that their remains were burned at Medagangoda Forest Reserve in Walasmulla. The seized vehicle, reportedly, belongs to more..

CVDs accounts for 42,376 deaths in SL: WHO

Feb 26 (CT) World Health Organization (WHO) said that 42,376 Sri Lankans had died of cardio vascular diseases (CVDs) annually. In a WHO fact sheet for 2018, provided by the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA), the WHO stated that of those deaths 6,530 (which comprised 15% of the total number) were caused by tobacco use. It said that CVDs were the number one cause of death in the country. more..

NPC in limbo as Chairman dispute continues

Feb 26 (CT) Operations at the National Police Commission (NPC) have practically come to a standstill following a simmering dispute over the Chairmanship and the matter has now been taken up with the President in a bid to solve the issue, sources said. According to sources, present Chairman P.H. Manatunga is insisting that he holds office till January 2020, but officials at the Prez Secretariat seem to think otherwise. more..

EPF payouts too poor for pensioners to survive: World Bank

Feb 26 (EN) Payouts by Sri Lanka’s biggest state-run pension fund, Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) are to poor for pensioners to survive on retirement, a new World Bank report has said. According to the bank’s SL Development Update, in some cases the average pay-out from the EPF might only yield an income of about 2,650 rupees a month - below the poverty line - over a 23-year life expectancy at retirement age of 55 for men. more..

Met. Dept. Doppler Radar System: Fresh Cabinet paper to close 2011 deal

Feb 26 (DN) Eight years since the purchase of the Doppler Radar System at a cost of Rs.400 million to improve weather forecasts, Meteorology Dept has now decided to present a fresh Cabinet Paper to close the deal with the US Company. Parts of the non-operational Doppler Radar System were shipped to the Enterprise Electronics Corporation of the US in April 2017 for repairs bearing an additional expense of more..

Decline in spread of Kidney disease in past two years: President

Feb 26 (PSL) The Kidney Patients Relief Service and Welfare Centre in Kandy vested with the public by the President. Prez Sirisena said that due to the broad programme launched within the past two years in preventing the kidney disease, which was a huge national tragedy, there is a reduction in the spread of kidney disease. The President made these remarks addressing a public rally held in Gatambe Grounds, Kandy, more..

Harrow Tamil community want Mayor of Harrow to resign over SL military photos

Feb 26 (ET) Campaigners have called on the Mayor of Harrow to resign after she was pictured with senior military figures during a visit to SL. Cllr Kareema Marikar visited the Commander of SL Army, Mahesh Senanayake, and Brigadier Priyanka Fernando during a trip last year. She posted pictures of her meetings – in which she is wearing the mayoral chain – on social media alongside messages praising the soldiers more..

STF’s drug busts

Feb 26 (CT) Sri Lanka’s geographical location has not only made it a maritime hub, but also an illicit drugs hub. The recent multibillion rupee drug busts, made, virtually routinely and, paradoxically coinciding after President and SLFP/UPFA Leader Maithripala Sirisena unconstitutionally took over the Police portfolio on 26 Oct is a pointer to this possibility. Unconstitutional or not, the current drug busts, coinciding with Sirisena taking over the Police portfolio, gives the impression that more..

More exports not creating formal jobs in SL

Feb 26 (EN) More exports are not increasing employment or formalization of jobs in SL, but give higher wages to existing workers, a study by World Bank and ILO said. "In SL, if there was a US$ 100 increase in exports per worker, average income would increase by 206 rupees at 1999 price levels," Gladys Lopez-Acevedo, a lead economist at World Bank said. "If the value of exports increases by US$ 100 per worker, average annual wages would increase by Rs 975 per worker" more..

Mali peace keeping programme - 2

Sirisena’s troll army in the making: Presidential Secretariat to purchase ...

Feb 26 (CT) Presidential Secretariat has published a procurement notice in a state-run newspaper to purchase 300 desktop computers, 50 laptops, 25 touch-screen computers, 20 multi-media projectors and 25 desktop printers for a special project. However, strong doubts have been raised over the purpose of the purchase with many suggesting that it may be linked to President Sirisena’s desperate attempt to run for the presidency again. With such a large number of machines and equipment, more..

Military fully cooperating with police to eliminate organized crimes: Army Chief

Feb 26 (Island) The security forces had extended the fullest support to the police to eradicate organised crimes, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake told media following an event in Panadura. Responding to a question posed by journalists on the role of the army in dealing with the underworld, Senanayake said that the responsibility of ensuring law and order lay with the Police. "The police are doing a great job in eradicating organised crime. more..

FPRP writes to UN Secy General highlighting the lack of a national food policy

Feb 26 (CT) Foundation for People’s Rights Protection (FPRP) wrote to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres highlighting the lack of a national food policy and the requirement for the establishment of an independent international grade testing facility and requested the UN’s assistance in certain other matters. Letter stated that excessive use of artificial enhancers is a major factor adversely affecting the quality of life of many. more..

Expose Cocaine users without wasting time: Nalin tells Ranjan

Feb 26 (DM) State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake should produce the names of ministers and MPs who are in the habit of taking cocaine in a bid to close the case without further delay, Dy Minister Nalin Bandara said yesterday. “State Minister should produce the names of MPs who are consuming cocaine so that they could be probed accordingly. Govt cannot afford to waste time talking of cocaine as there are many other things to be done. Cocaine issue has painted a wrong picture of P'ment. more..

Budget 2019 should be an innovation-inspiring budget

Feb 26 (FT) It is the habit of every finance minister to call his budget a development budget. This is despite all budgets since around 1956 having allocated a bulk of resources – about 75% – for consumption and not for capital formation. Even then, the monies spent on consumption had been on such unproductive expenses like expanding the public sector, bailing out loss-making public enterprises or offering unaffordable subsidies generally to people rather than extending more..

The more we see Kusal Mendis, the more we'll go wow: Steve Rixon

Feb 26 (CI) SL fielding coach Steve Rixon has described Kusal Mendis as a batsman who will make people go wow the more they see of him. Rixon, who has had coaching stints with New Zealand and Pakistan earlier, was full of praise for the SL team for the manner of their historic 2-0 series win in South Africa. Kusal Perera's 153* had taken the team to an epic one-wicket win in the first Test, and in the second, Mendis and Oshada more..

Independent commissions have made drug busts possible: PM

Feb 26 (Island) Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) and the Special Task Force (STF) were now able to combat the drug trade with freedom thanks to the independent commissions established by the current administration had removed political pressure on the police, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. "The PNB and STF seized nearly 300 kilos of heroin in the parking lot of a super market in Kollupitiya. This is the biggest ever stock of heroin, detected in the country. more..

Army Corporal arrested with T-56 and ammo

Feb 26 (AD) A Corporal of the Sri Lanka Army has been arrested by the officers of the Elpitiya Anti-Corruption Unit over the possession of a T-56 type firearm. The arrest has been made at Kahatapitiya area on Aluthwala-Batawala road, when a motorcycle which sped on without heeding police orders, was searched. Officers have found a T-56 firearm, 28 T-56 live ammunition, a cartridge magazine, 02 face masks, part of an Army uniform and a water bottle. more..

Military, LTTE accused of war crimes: Cabinet memo submitted seeking amnesty

Feb 26 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka said he submitted a Cabinet memorandum asking for general amnesty to all those who are accused of war crimes – both from the armed forces and the LTTE. He said it was inappropriate to single out the armed forces as the only perpetrator of war crimes since there were many others involved in similar acts. Some 12,000 LTTE combatants who were reintegrated more..

Power Ministry ready to face drought

Feb 26 (Island) Ministry of Power was ready to face the coming dry season and ensure that there would no power cuts, Minister Ravi Karunanayake told media. "CEB Engineers are already taking steps to overcome any challenge and by next year we will try to address a number of issues that make us vulnerable to drought," he said. The ministry is focused on increasing the contribution to the energy mix from renewable sources. Moreover steps will be taken to cause artificial rains. more..

Even a woman politico into drugs: Ranjan

Feb 26 (DM) State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said today a women politician was also among the politicians using cocaine. He said that this woman politician was not a sitting MP. He said he had obtained this information from the Narcotics Bureau and several other responsible institutions. “The issue will be resolved if all MPs go and get themselves checked. Only myself and Deputy Minister Buddhika Pathirana had done blood tests and revealed it to the public,” the state minister said. more..

Decision on hearing petition against Ranil’s MP seat to be delivered in May

Feb 26 (AD) Court of Appeal has today ordered that the decision on allowing the hearing of the petition, which seeks Quo Warranto preventing Ranil Wickremesinghe from being a MP, will be delivered on 21st of May. The order was issued by Appeals Court judge bench consisting of Judges Shiran Gunaratne and Priyantha Fernando. When the petition was taken up on 12th Feb, the attorneys representing the respondents more..

Sri Lanka sets eyes on exiting FATF grey list by this June

Feb 26 (DM) The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global policy setter on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), has made the initial determination that Sri Lanka has completed its action plan and warrants an on-site assessment to verify that the implementation of the country’s AML/CFT reforms has begun and is being sustained and that the necessary political commitment remains in place to sustain the implementation in the future. more..

Nov 2018 parliament incidents: Gammanpila blames Karu

Feb 26 (CT) The person responsible for the unpleasant incidents in Parliament, which occurred in Nov last year, was Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, PHU Leader Udaya Gammanpila claimed. He alleged that the recently released committee report, which investigated the incidents in Parliament during last year’s political crisis, was biased and the 54 MPs who supported MP Mahinda Rajapaksa`s appointment as PM were found guilty while only four UNP MPs were named as guilty. more..

UK welcomes Sri Lanka’s decisions on reconciliation

Feb 26 (AD) The UK has welcomed the decision of the SL Govt to return more land to its rightful owners, and to establish an Office for Reparations to compensate war victims. Addressing the 40th regular session of the UNHRC in Geneva on Monday, UK’s Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad also encouraged SL to implement in full the commitments made to the UNHRC in order to ensure long-term reconciliation. more..

Video: Tear gas and water cannons fired at protestors

Feb 26 (AD) The police have fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protest launched by students at the Lotus Road, stated Ada Derana reporter. The protest march has been organized by the students of the Institute of Higher National Diploma in Engineering (HNDE). Earlier today (26), the Louts Road in Colombo was closed off due to the protest and heavy traffic congestion was reported from Punchi Borella area. more..

Gotabaya’s Avant Garde case postponed

Feb 26 (AD) The Colombo Magistrate’s Court has ordered to postpone the case filed by the Bribery Commission against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and seven others over Avant Garde allegations until 29th of April. When the case was called before Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today, the prosecution and the defence told that the Court of Appeal has already issued an injunction order suspending the hearing of the case. Informing the court of the hearing on the injunction order more..

FCID chief cop DIG Ravi Waidyalankara sacked

Feb 26 (EN) Govt decided to terminate the services of FCID chief Ravi Waidyalankara amid serious allegations of graft. Cabinet of ministers at their meeting Tuesday discussed the future of Senior DIG who is also suspected of passing sensitive information to two Singapore nationals implicated in the highly controversial MiG deal. In the purchase of four second-hand MiG planes for the air force in 2006, more..

Sajin wanted budget airline to fly long distances: Former top official

Feb 26 (Island) Senior management at Mihin Lanka were planning long-haul flights to destinations like Moscow though the aircraft in the airline’s possession were not capable of flying long distances, the PCoI was informed. Former Head of the Commercial Division of Mihin, Sugatadasa Rajapakshe told the PCoI that they––Rajapakshe and SA Chandrasekera, former CFO of UL, who had created a business plan for Mihin––had wanted the airline to focus on shorter routes. more..

Interim order issued against appointing interns to State Hospitals

Feb 26 (CG) Supreme Court issued an injunction order today on Ministry of Health against the appointment of interns to State Hospitals. Order was issued following the submission of an application by PC Upul Jaysuriya and PC Kolitha Dharmawardena who appeared on behalf of medical graduates from the SAITM. The 3-judge bench comprising of Justice Prasanna Jayawardena, Justice Thurairajah and Justice Preethi Padman Soorasena, issued the injunction order. more..

Sanath Jayasuriya banned for two years after ICC anti-corruption unit investigation

Feb 26 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya, the former Sri Lankan captain, has been banned for two years from cricket-related activity by the ICC's anti-corruption unit for refusing to co-operate with investigations concerning corruption in that country. The ban is with immediate effect. Last October Jayasuriya, a World Cup winner in 1996, was charged by the ACU with two counts of breaching the ICC anti-corruption code. more..

Puttalam garbage project: 15.03.19 – Countdown starts!

Feb 27 (CT) Why is Puttalam treated differently? This is the fairly reasonable question every inhabitant of the Puttalam constituency, one of the six in the North-Western Electoral district, has on their mind. Answers to this simple question, however, that are coming from the President, the PM, the Minister for Western Development and Mega Polis and the leaders of the so-called Muslim (Halal) parties (SLMC and ACMC) despite their apparent Haraam activities, appalling. more..

The fate of the disappeared & The Northern shutdown

Feb 27 (CT) When a state abducts and arrests its citizens and hide from the knowledge of their loved ones and the public their whereabouts, one sees the brutal face of sovereign authority. This is a point where the state morphs into a totalitarian institution. The enforced disappearances of citizens who challenge the authority of a state sends out a chilling warning to those who have been spared of its iron grips: if you rise up in protest—armed or otherwise——against the state, more..

Exploring possibilities for Mattala Airport

Feb 27 (CT) Dubbed by Forbes as the World’s Emptiest International Airport, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) was built to be Sri Lanka’s second int'l airport with a runway that has the capability to receive the world’s biggest passenger aircraft. Unfortunately, at present the airport sees more use in cheap political jibes than in real-life, as one of the many white elephants constructed during the Rajapaksa regime. more..

Amidst the hurdles

Feb 27 (DN) Jayatilleke de Silva, who passed away yesterday at the age of 80, was the quintessential journalist. He brought his vast experience in education, politics, academia, literary field and wider society into the journalistic world. This versatility enabled him to embellish his work as the Editor of both the Daily News and the Sunday Observer. He was widely read, always well-informed and in touch with reality. Although his primary focus was politics, which he reflected through his editorials, more..

Making the rural hospital the best hospital

Feb 27 (DN) Dr. Amila Chandrasiri MBBS, MSc, MD, Consultant Community Physician (Acting) College of Community Physicians, speaks on making the rural hospital the best hospital. Q: Why do people bypass small hospitals and crowd big hospitals? A: The main reason is that people believe that they can obtain better service in big hospitals with more competent staff, better equipment and facilities. But many out-patient wards in divisional hospitals can be managed well at the primary care level. more..