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Lawyers group throws down the gauntlet

Feb 27 (CT) The Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) organisation announced that they would if necessary challenge Prez Sirisena’s proposed lifting of the moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty imposed on repeatedly offending death row drug convicts before the Superior Courts at the correct juncture. Convener of the LfD, Lakshan Dias, said that as a citizens’ initiative, a fundamental rights petition could be filed more..

Airbus offered VIP kit as part of aircraft deal: UL Head of Finance

Feb 27 (Island) Airbus offered SriLankan Airlines a VIP kit, worth USD 15 million, for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s use, as a goodwill gesture. It as to be installed to A330 – 300 aircraft during the re-fleeting programme in 2013. Testifying before the PCoI, Head of Finance at the SriLankan Airlines, Yasantha Dissanayake said that the VIP kit which included a bed, conference room, and a separate area for security personnel. more..

LNG plant tender: Cabinet appoints committee to look into govt decision

Feb 27 (Island) The Cabinet of Ministers has appointed a committee to look into the govt decision to award a tender to a Sri Lankan-Chinese joint venture for the construction of a 300 MW LNG power plant at Kerawalapitiya. The Committee comprises Ministers, Malik Samarawickrama, Champika Ranawaka, Non Cabinet Minister Harsha de Silva and State Minister, Eran Wickramaratne. more..

Bond scam steps into 4th anniversary today

Feb 27 (FT) 27 Feb 2015 was a D-day for the Central Bank of SL, with several unprecedented events taking place connected to the Treasury bond issue of Rs. 1 billion advertised by the bank. This episode has now gone down in the history of this country with full details available in the public domain. The matter remains in a questionably doubtful state regarding its impending outcome. This is a recreation of the past events of the issue and with the advantage of hindsight more..

Beedi also kills

Feb 27 (CT) A World Health Organization (WHO) report said that non communicable diseases (NCDs) were responsible for 65% of all deaths in SL in 2016. The leading cause of fatalities was cardio vascular diseases (CVDs) - heart attacks which accounted for 34% of all deaths, followed by cancer (14%), diabetes (9%) and chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) - breathing problems (8%). Another report said CVD deaths reported last year were 42,376, while cancer deaths numbered 14,013. more..

බැදුම්කර හොරු රැකපු දුෂිත නීතිපති ...

Contempt of court case against Ranjan fixed for mention

Feb 27 (Island) The Supreme Court, yesterday fixed for mention, on March 13, the contempt of court application against UNP MP for Gampaha District and Minister of State Ranjan Ramanayake. The accused has allegedly insulted the Supreme Court by publicly prejudging a fundamental rights violation petition that was pending determination before the court. This particular petition was filed by 122 UNP MPs against the dissolution of Parliament by a Presidential order. more..

‘Environment protection, task of every citizen’

Feb 27 (DN) Deputy Environment Minister Ajith Mannapperuma invited all Sri Lankans to be united in a commitment to protect the country’s environment. Speaking to the media yesterday at Sobadam Piyasa, he said unlike other subjects such as education, infrastructure development, and health care, the task of protecting the country’s environment cannot be done only by the Ministry or other institution under the Ministry, but should be shared equally among all Sri Lankans. more..

Indian national arrested over VIP assassination plot acquitted

Feb 27 (AD) The Indian national arrested in connection with investigations into the alleged VIP assassination plot has been acquitted and released. Mersalin Thomas was acquitted over the charges in the case by the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court when the case was taken up for hearing today. Meanwhile former DIG of the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) Nalaka de Silva was further remanded until March 6. more..

Two ministries coming under plantations ministry given to Kiriella

Feb 27 (AM) Two institutions coming under the Plantation Industries Ministry was transferred to the Ministry of State Enterprise, Hill Country Heritage and Kandy Development last evening. Janatha Estate Development Board and State Plantation Corporation have been transferred from Plantation Ministry to the Ministry of State Enterprise, Hill Country Heritage & Kandy Development, held by Lakshman Kiriella. Kiriella was earlier disappointed with the Prez's decision to more..

Close accomplice of Bloemendhal Sanka arrested

Feb 27 (AD) A close accomplice of the organized crime gang member Bloemendhal Sanka has been arrested at Aduruppuweediya area in Pettah. A group of officers from the Colombo Central Anti-Corruption Unit had made the arrest at Koriyawatta area in Aduruppuweediya, Pettah, early this morning. The officials have discovered 10 g 460 mg of heroin on the suspect at the time of arrest. The arrestee Shyam Nasul, aged 41, is set to be produced before Maligakanda MC, today. more..

Almost had Obama here in 2016: Mangala

Feb 27 (DM) Govt of SL almost pulled off the impossible by even having President Barack Obama in SL in 2016, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. He revealed this at the opening ceremony of the latest American Corner at Matara which was also attended by US Ambassador Alaina Teplitz and Matara Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board President Metta Widanagamachchi. He said the date former Prez Obama gave for a one-day visit more..

Upali Marasinghe, new SLTB Chairman

Feb 27 (DM) Former Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Ministry Secretary Upali Marasinghe today assumed duties as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB). The ceremony was held at the SLTB Head Office at Narahenpita with the patronage of Transport Minister Arjuna Ranatunga and State Minister Ashok Abeysinghe. The new appointment follows former SLTB Chairman Ramal Siriwardane forwarding his letter of resignation to Transport Ministry Secretary L.P. Jayampathy more..

Over 60 Lankan companies participate in Gulf Food 2019

Feb 27 (GDI) Over 60 Food and Beverage exporting companies from SL successfully participated in the 24th edition of Gulf Food 2019 trade exhibition which is considered as the world's biggest Food & Drink event held annually. The exhibition was held at Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai, UAE during 17th to 21st Feb. The opportunity was effectively utilized for the promotion of Ceylon Tea and food related exports from SL to the UAE and Gulf region as well as other global markets. more..

Govt executive officers’ strike disrupts functions of state institutions

Feb 27 (AD) The daily functions of many state institutions have come to a halt due to the token strike commenced by the Joint Committee of Govt Executive Officers this morning. Strike was launched seeking several demands including resolutions for existing salary anomalies. Joint Committee of Govt Executive Officers had held a meeting with PM to discuss their concerns including suspension of annuity payments, more..

Video: There are more talkers than doers in UNP: Ravi

Feb 27 (AD) There are many leaders in the UNP, but only a handful of leaders who can actually work, says the Assistant Leader of UNP, Minister Ravi Karunanayake, attending a function held in Colombo. Stating that the time has come to build the country, he stated that all political parties in Sri Lanka have contributed to both make and break the country in the past 71 years. There are many talkers within the UNP whereas there are only a very little doers, he added. more..

Over 1000 new doctors granted appointments

Feb 27 (GDI) Minister Rajitha Senaratne Tuesday granted appointments to 1,080 new doctors at a ceremony held in Temple Trees. The objective was to raise the quality of the health services in the country, he said. A large group of doctors who received appointments are due to be assigned to hospitals in Northern and Eastern Provinces. Health Ministry said the new doctors will be deployed to the hospitals in the other provinces as well subsequent to considering the priority of service needs. more..

SriLankan cancels flights to Karachi and Lahore

Feb 27 (GDI) SriLankan Airlines has cancelled flights to the Pakistani cities of Karachi and Lahore scheduled for Thursday (28) following the temporary closure of Pakistani airspace by the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan. Issuing a statement, the airline said that passengers who were booked to fly to Karachi and Lahore are kindly advised to contact their travel agents and visit for further information. more..

Smuggling cocaine: Bolivian woman sentenced to life imprisonment

Feb 27 (EN) A 50-year-old Bolivian woman, who tried to smuggle in a stock of cocaine worth over Rs.40 million to the country in 2016, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Negombo High Court yesterday. Police said the woman was arrested by the Sri Lanka Customs when she attempted to smuggle 2.6 kg of cocaine into the country on 13 September 2016. The customs officials found the stock of cocaine inside the false bottom of her baggage at that time. more..

Prima to increase investments in Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (EN) Prima Ceylon (Pvt.) Ltd, Sri Lanka's largest flour mill, is hoping to increase its investments after 40 years of operation, officials said. "Our current investment in Sri Lanka amounts to US$ 240 million," Group General Manager Tan Beng Chuan said. "It is one that we are proud of, and we will continue to explore new opportunities to develop our operations here," he said at a media briefing in Trinco held to celebrate the firm's 40th anniversary in Sri Lanka. more..

Nearly 900 drown each year

Feb 27 (CT) Around 900 people drown in waterways annually, but we only talk about lives the nation loses due to road accidents, Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara said. He was speaking at the seminar on the Local Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Plan held in Colombo and organized by Japan International Cooperation Agency in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Administration and Disaster Management. more..

HIV/AIDS deaths last year total 36

Feb 27 (CT) The data revealed that 36 patients had succumbed to HIV/AIDS last year. A total of 771 AIDS -afflicted persons and 3,195 persons infected with the HIV virus had been discovered in the country by the end of 2018. Out of those infected with HIV 2,148 are men while 1,047 are women. Data showed that, by the end of 2017, 2,842 persons had been infected with the HIV virus. However, during 2018, a total of 353 persons infected with HIV virus had been discovered. more..

Senior lawyers meet CJ

Feb 27 (CT) A group of senior lawyers met Chief Justice (CJ) Nalin Perera and handed over a written complaint against UPFA MP S.B. Dissanayake over his recent remarks regarding the appointment of Judges to the Superior Courts. The group of lawyers, including former President of the Bar Association, President’s Counsel Upul Jayasuriya, J.C. Weliamuna, PC, and MP Dr. Jayampathi Wickremaratne, in their written complaint has requested the immediate intervention of more..

30 Lankan migrant workers stranded in Kuwait: Harin rubbishes Namal's claim

Feb 27 (AM) Minister Harin Fernando said MP Namal Rajapaksa's claims on 30 Sri Lankan migrant workers being stranded in Kuwait due to their inability to purchase air tickets were false. Rajapaksa, quoting SL's Ambassador to Kuwait, tweeted that about 30 migrant workers were stranded in the Middle Eastern country. He said SLPP Municipal Councillor Nithya Samaranayake was willing to give their information to anyone more..

Two arrested in Sri Lanka for attempting to smuggle drugs through sea

Feb 27 (SLN) A group of naval personnel attached to Fast Attack Craft belonging to the Northern Naval Command arrested 02 suspects with 86.4kg of Kerala cannabis during a patrol carried out in the seas north of Point Pedro this morning. The naval craft had initially spotted a suspicious boat movement in the northern seas and had found 86.4kg of Kerala cannabis upon inspecting the suspicious dinghy. The stock of cannabis had been packed into two parcels and it is believed that more..

US Emb. opens American Corner in Matara

Feb 27 (USE) U.S. Ambassador to SL Alaina Teplitz and Minister Mangala Samaraweera launched a new American Corner in Matara on Feb 26 at the Matara Chamber of Commerce and Industry at 149 Hakmana Road. American Corner Matara promotes entrepreneurship and provides Sri Lanka’s brightest young minds the space and resources to innovate and to develop ideas from concept to reality. Offering courses on topics such as entrepreneurship, English skills, and coding, more..

Sri Lanka to launch new map in March

Feb 27 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka will launch a new map by March following changes made to SL's shoreline due to projects such as the Colombo Port City and the Hambantota Port in southern SL. P.M.P Udayakantha, Surveyor General from the Survey Department, said that Survey Dept had finished the compilation of the new map series of the island country following developmental changes made within the past 5 years. more..

Venezuela; Is it reminiscent of socialist suffering in Sri Lanka?

Feb 28 (CT) Intellectually superior academics on this forum have also commented about benefits of socialism, given expert ideological commentaries and talked about Venezuela and what went wrong. It is probably a good idea to share two messages received at two different times from a friend from Venezuela about their crisis and the tragedy of the once most prosperous nation in Latin America. This writer will not give much commentary, but these letters, copied and pasted below, more..

When the seeds of a newspaper germinated in young D.R.

Feb 28 (ST) My dear Wije, Thanks very much for your letters which came together. I am glad you are taking up the Bar Final and expect you have done so by this. A paragraph in the Observer, I believe written by Mr. R.N. Ferguson speaks of you in warm terms: he says you are a fellow guest with him and Corbet at Greys Inn, that you are likely to gain a good pass and was interesting yourself under Corbet’s guidance in getting Ceylon matters such as Pearl Fishery Lease brought before P'ment. more..

RAAVANA-1 ready for launch in April

Feb 28 (DN) The Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT) is the only institute in Sri Lanka which deals with space technology. Sri Lankans have long for this historic launch of a spacecraft. Tharindu Dayaratne, an Electrical and Electronics Engineer from the Peradeniya Uni and a Research Engineer at the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies together with Dulani Chamika, more..

Example of Yahapâlanaya in Australia

Feb 28 (CT) Could this ever happen in Sri Lanka if a Mahanayake of any of the nikayas was found guilty of criminal conduct like sexual abuse and rape of kids under their care? Or a Muslim Mullah? Or even our own cardinal Revd Malcolm Ranjith? However serious the case may be, it would never have reached court in the first place. Furthermore, if it was a high politico, the complainant would have been sent missing under Gota’s kind of disciplining. That has become the Sri Lankan way. more..

In pursuit of prosperity

Feb 28 (DN) Whilst driving through Jaffna and passing Tellipalai, I came across four women working in a red onion cultivation. Their feet were covered in mud and they were soaked in perspiration. Initially, they were hesitant to speak to me but then came forward to engage in conversation. The oldest of the four is Selvakumari who said “We work in these fields from 7 am to 5 pm in the evening. This is hard work. Can you feel the heat of the sun? more..

Kehma’s boy in politics for three decades

Feb 28 (CT) Today is a very special day for Khema’s boy! It is because he completes three decades in politics today. Although the boy has grown up, matured and is a serious adult today, it is a good time to recall his formative years. Khema Padmawathie Amaraweera was born in a tiny remote village close to the city of Matara. She was the daughter of a family with considerable assets. more..

Promoting a balanced SLFP programme

Feb 28 (CT) I dealt last week with some of the myths propagated about my political perspectives to attack, without countering my arguments, the criticisms I make about prevailing situations. Though most myths are woven by those hostile to Mahinda Rajapaksa, there was, as mentioned, one about my hostility in the last days of the last govt to Mahinda himself, whereas what I critiqued then, openly unlike others, were the undue influences on him of those who had their own interests at heart, more..

Importance of safeguarding SL war heroes

Feb 28 (CT) In calling upon Prez Sirisena, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, to ensure that soldiers who neutralised the LTTE so very completely were not penalised in the name of war crimes probes, three veteran commanders may have taken back from the political class what might have belonged to men in uniform, now or earlier. This could well mean a new chapter in Sri Lanka’s tryst with the co-sponsored resolution of the 2015 kind, when the multi-Nation UNHRC takes up more..

Harin Fernando

Piyadasa Sirisena: Wielding the pen in the cause of freedom

Feb 28 (Island) This is what a 27 page booklet published by Sri Wijayaramaya, a temple in Maharagama, states in commemoration of last year’s day of freedom (Feb 4). Booklet succinctly describes the heroic role played by Mr. Piyadasa Sirisena in the movement to regain freedom from British rule. And the contents of the booklet serves as a worthy reminder to onerous tasks undertaken by National heroes like Sirisena and many others who served this nation in the past. more..

Edtorial: Scary Armageddon estimates

Feb 28 (Island) Gripped by a gnawing fear of being blown up anytime, thanks to the nuke stockpiles at the disposal of belligerent nations, the world must have heaved a sigh of relief when US President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jon-un agreed to have a second round of talks. It is a pleasant sight to see the volatile duo talk peace instead of bellowing rhetoric and threatening to push nuclear buttons on their desks; they have certain traits in common such as more..

How did Madush know of sophisticated M39?

Feb 28 (DN) It has been reported that drug dealer Makandure Madush had plans to smuggle a specialised M39 rifle into the country. Although in my view this detection was given undue publicity, his name has been linked to a plan to assassinate certain VVIPs. I have tried to impress upon the leadership of this country the importance of strong intelligence unit governance, protection of assets, and safety of the nation, but more..

Despite outshining Steyn and Rabada, Vishwa faces uncertain future

Feb 28 (Island) How good was Vishwa Fernando’s effort on this tour of South Africa to outshine Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier. All three Protea fast bowlers clock 145kmph on average. Vishwa barely touches 135kmph, but he is on the money. Every time. Vishwa finished the two match series with 12 wickets at 18 whereas Rabada claimed eight scalps at 29, Steyn’s six wickets came at 36 per piece while Olivier had seven at 25. A SL bowler outsmarting South Africans in SA! more..